A DISTRACTED lorry driver who was on his phone when he ploughed into and killed a Southampton biker is facing five years behind bars.

Alan Couper's motorbike was struck by a lorry driven by Roy Woods, who had not been paying attention to the road because he was on his phone.

The crash on Stockbridge Road in Leckford involved two motorbikes and a lorry.

Saints season ticket holder Mr Couper, 62, from Upper Brownhill Road, died at the scene on April 13 last year. The other motorcyclist was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Winchester Crown Court heard from prosecutor Tom Wright, who explained how Mr Couper and his friend were about to make a right turn on Stockbridge Road, when Woods' flatbed lorry crashed into the rear of Mr Couper's stationary motorbike causing fatal injuries.

The court heard how Woods was using a phone device several times that day while driving a 32-tonne vehicle.

When he crashed into Woods he had been on the phone to a friend for eight minutes.

On the point of impact, the court heard how Woods was driving at 45mph on the 50mph road and swore down the phone to a friend as he tried to brake seconds before impact.

The court heard Woods was using a headset for phone calls but did not have a hands free kit.

In mitigation, defending Woods, Stephen Requena said Woods had sneezed just moments before the crash, and said that caused him to be too late to react.

He said Woods feels devastated following the crash.

The court heard moving statements from his widow Helen Cooper, who described him as an "amazing dad and grandad" and they were looking forward to retirement.

She said she feels "numb" after his death.

Daughter of Mr Couper, Claire Couper told how her dad was a great character with the biggest heart and family meant everything to him.

Ms Couper:"He was the coolest dad and grandad he was just like one of the boys, so young at heart with plenty of life left in him."

She added:"I feel absolutely heartbroken and devastated. The sadness I feel is unbearable."

Sentencing Woods, 58, at Winchester Crown Court for causing death by dangerous driving was judge Keith Cutler.

He gave a custodial sentence of five years and a seven and a half year disqualification from driving.

Judge Cutler said: "What you did not do on that day is something you should have done, and that is at all times to pay complete attention to the road.

"You did not - you were clearly busy on the phone.

"Your concentration was impaired and you were driving too fast with no realistic expectation that any vehicle or a bike would be in front of you."