A DRIVER who pulled across the path of a motor cyclist on a major Southampton road during rush hour was responsible for her death, say jurors.

Carol Carr, a popular biker known as Bubbles, was killed in the collision at the junction of Moorhill Road and Southern Road in West End on February 18.

Today they found Phillip Stocks, 54, guilty of causing death by careless driving.

He was further bailed for sentence on July 22 but Judge Nicholas Rowland warned him that all options, including a prison sentence, were open.

The prosecution alleged that Stocks was concentrating on picking up a work colleage who he was taking to a meeting as opposed to other road users at the time.

Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, told Southampton Crown Court the crash happened when he collided with Ms Carr as he turned into Southern Road from Moorhill Road at about 8.40am.

Ms Carr, who died at the scene, would have had no time to move out of the way.

"She was there to be seen and he failed to see her."

Stocks told the court that he slowed from 30-mph to 10-15 mph to turn into Southern Road. He said he saw a moped and a car approaching but did not see the motor bike.

"When I started making the manoevre, there was nothing in the immediate vicinity. I didn't see anything until the impact. I didn't realise what had hit me until I got out of the car.

"I was in shock after the accident. I am still affected by it now."

Asked why he had not seen Ms Carr's motor bike, he replied: "It didn't have a headlight on. The rider was in very dark clothing."

Carol Carr

After the verdict, the judge imposed an interim dsqualification on Stocks, from Redlands Lane, Fareham, who had denied the charge.

Sgt Rob Heard, the investigating officer and road safety sergeant for Hampshire police, said: "This case highlights the need for everyone to look out for each other and take more care when negotiating junctions to look properly.

"All too often people fail to look long enough, especially for vulnerable road users who may not be as evident to see as others from just a glance."

In a statement, the family told the Echo: "We are pleased justice has been done. It's been a long an difficult year for us. It is a bitter/sweet feeling. A guilty verdict was the only verdict, but nothing will bring Carol back. We all miss her terribly."