Gritting lorry driver jailed for killing Wapping motorcyclist while performing illegal U-turn in Limehouse

Peter Wright

Peter Wright - Credit: Met Police

A gritting lorry driver who killed a motorcyclist from Wapping while performing an illegal U-turn has been jailed for nine months.

The Old Bailey heard how Peter Wright was driving along West India Dock Road on February 2 last year when he performed a U-turn at a gap in the central reservation near Limehouse police station, despite a sign forbidding it.

As the lorry turned, he collided with Anthony Duggan, who was riding his motorbike in the same direction as Wright.

Medics, including staff from London’s Air Ambulance, fought to save 47-year-old Mr Duggan’s life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

When Wright, who stopped at the scene, was questioned, he told officers that when he had started as a gritting driver, he had been told to perform the illegal turn to ensure the road was fully gritted.

He was subsequently charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Following a six day trial, the 45-year-old, of Princess Margaret Road, Linford, Stanford-Le-Hope, Essex, was convicted and in addition to his prison sentence, was disqualified from driving for 12 months on Friday.

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The Old Bailey heard how Mr Duggan’s family had been left devastated by his death.

His brother, John Duggan, said in a victim impact statement: “His loss has been devastating for his mother and his son.

“My mother, who is now in her late 70s, is extremely unwell. My mother’s reaction to Anthony’s death was one of utter devastation. She displayed a whole range of emotions, from anger to hopelessness and despair.”

He added: “My brother’s world revolved around his son. He absolutely doted on him.

“Anthony has left a huge void in so many of our lives and left in his place are regret, sadness and the feeling that he still had so much to offer as a son, a father and a brother.”

DS Cheryl Frost added: “There is no exception for emergency service vehicles to ignore a no U-turn sign.

“Rules, regulations and traffic signs are put in place to keep the public safe, and those who ignore them are a danger to other road users.”