Biker dad jailed for son's 122 mph ride

A motorcyclist caught speeding at 122mph with his 14-year-old son on the back was jailed today for six months.

Judge Phillip Wassall told Robert Bennett police footage of him was "unbelievable".

Bennett, 47, was caught by a police camera on the A361 North Devon link road with his son riding pillion on his 1300cc Suzuki.

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The cleaning supervisor, from Barnstaple, Devon, was jailed for six months at Exeter Crown Court and banned from the road for 18 months after admitting dangerous driving.

Bennett, who was divorced from the boy's mother, had just picked him up from his mother's for a visit in April last year.

He had opened the throttle because it started to rain but a police officer sitting in a van activated the camera when he heard the bike accelerating towards a bend.

The device clocked the speed and also picked up an image of his son, who was not wearing protective trousers or gloves, clutching the back of the seat with his bare hands.

Bennett's barrister David Sapiecha said his client had ridden at that speed for no more than half a mile on the 60mph two lane carriageway.

Mr Sapiecha told the judge that Bennett had been riding bikes on and off road since he was a youngster but regretted his actions that day.

He is likely to serve half of the six month sentence but will have to take an extended driving test at the end of his disqualification.

Judge Wassall told him: "Had you lost control the motorcycle would have become a missile and it is certain there would have been a serious accident or highly probably the death of a least one other road user.

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"Added to that fact you had your 14-year-old son on the back.

"The lack of responsibility is unbelievable. This is so dangerous that the court cannot avoid a custodial sentence, to send a message out."

Speaking outside court Pc Duncan Russell from Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership said: "Robert Bennett accepted that what he did was dangerous and the sentence passed by the court today reflects how serious this incident was.

"He was lucky his actions did not lead to anyone being hurt.

"Had he lost control of his motorcycle at that speed the result I'm sure would have been fatal.

"If anyone has a high-powered motorcycle and they want to ride quickly please go to the comparative safety of a race track, do not do it on public roads."