Trial begins over death of Bognor landlord Robert Giacopazzi in crash at Clymping

Robert 'Jacko' Giacopazzi who was killed in a motorcyle accident at Climping in 2013
Robert 'Jacko' Giacopazzi who was killed in a motorcyle accident at Climping in 2013

The trial of a Felpham woman has begun over the death of a motorcyclist as he travelled from Bognor Regis to Littlehampton.

Robert Giacopazzi, 48, known by friends as ‘Jacko’, owned and ran the Prince of Wales public house in Bognor.

Mr Giacopazzi suffered fatal injuries when his Yamaha motorcycle was in collision with a Vauxhall Corsa at the Climping junction which links the A259 and the B2233 Yapton Road, near the Oystercatcher public house, on August 25, 2013.

The driver of the maroon Corsa, Dawn Devine, 55, of Wish Field Drive, Felpham, denies causing death by careless driving.

On the opening day of a week-long trial on Monday, May 18, Chichester Crown Court heard evidence from Steven Storey, a friend of Mr Giacopazzi who was riding behind him at the time of the crash.

Mr Storey described seeing the roof of the Corsa as it pulled out from the B2233 Yapton Road, turning right onto the A259 in the direction of Bognor.

Mr Giacopazzi and Mr Storey were riding from Bognor towards Littlehampton.

“I saw the car roof (of the Corsa) was stationary at the junction and then it moved,” Mr Storey told the court.

“It looked like she was travelling at a normal speed and obviously she didn’t see Jacko. It looked like normal speed to me.”

Mr Storey added: “I didn’t see or hear the impact because I lost sight of Robert, I only heard him sliding on the road.”

Mr Storey said Mr Giacopazzi, who he had known for around six years at the Prince of Wales and through riding together, had overtaken a silver car shortly before the incident, where the speed limit was 50mph, meaning there was a car between them.

The speed limit dropped to 40mph and Mr Storey said Mr Giacopazzi was riding at 40mph at the time of the crash.

The defence, however argued that he was travelling faster.

Defending, Karen Dempsey asked: “If I was to say he was travelling at a speed between 47 and 59 miles per hour or more, what would you say?

“I would call you a liar,” Mr Storey replied.

“If I was to say your speed was high as well if you were keeping pace with him and doing a similar speed?,” Ms Dempsey asked.

“Still a liar,” Mr Storey replied.

The court heard that the collision happened shortly before 2pm on Sunday, August 25, 2013 in slightly overcast but dry conditions.

An ambulance and police were there within minutes, though Mr Giacopazzi died at the scene.

Prosecuting, Edward Hand said: “It’s the manoeuvre that’s at the heart of this case.

“The driving by Dawn Davine from the B2233 onto the A259 was careless and Mr Robert Giacopazzi was there to be seen.

“She did not see him, or if she did, she did not drive in a sufficient way that was careful.

“As a result of her actions Mr Robert Giacopazzi tragically died.”

The trial continues.