Man, 89, was killed by lorry as he headed to his parents’ grave

An 89-year-old man was killed after being hit by a lorry as he crossed a road to visit his parents’ grave in Norwich, a court heard.

Geoffrey Spalding was making his way to Earlham cemetery having travelled up from his home in Middlesex when he was hit by a lorry near to the Earlham Road roundabout.

Mr Spalding was struck by the truck at the pedestrian crossing on the A140 at Farrow Road.

The pensioner sustained significant injuries and died in hospital a few days later.

Norwich Crown Court heard that on approaching the traffic lights, which were on red, the lorry stopped almost three metres over the stop line.

As the vehicle came to a stop, Mr Spalding stepped out in front of the vehicle to cross the road.

But the the traffic lights changed to flashing amber and the truck moved off,  hitting Mr Spalding at about noon on May 21 2018.

Stephen Bedder, 64, the lorry driver, was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after he was previously found guilty of causing death by careless driving following a trial in February.

Bedder, of Trafalgar Street, Norwich, was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work when he was sentenced on May 7.

After the hearing, Mr Spalding’s family issued a statement, saying: “Although Geoffrey was perceived to be an elderly man walking with a stoop he was well aware of his surroundings.

“On the morning of the accident he had travelled by train from his home in Middlesex and made his way from the station to pay his annual visit to his parents’ grave across the road in Earlham cemetery.

“In fact, his bags contained items like flowers and cleaning materials for that visit. He took care in crossing Earlham Road, did not dash across, in order to get to the crossing in Farrow Road.

“We are happy with the verdict that justice has been done and may Geoffrey rest in peace.”

Andy Hughes from Norfolk Constabulary’s Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “This collision was totally avoidable.

“This is a sad case; one that highlights just how important it is for drivers to be fully aware of their surroundings and concentrate when they’re behind the wheel.”