‘Reckless’ 16-year-old is caged for more than three years after he admitting killing a rival by hurling a push bike in path of his motorcycle causing him to smash head-first into van
- Unnamed boy, 16, threw a push bike in front of rival Michael-Lee Rice’s motorbike
- Mr Rice had been riding in attempt to wind up the killer and his gang
- Admitted to manslaughter at Bristol Crown Court and jailed for 38 months in a young offenders institution
Michael-Lee Rice, 20, was killed when a Yo Bike was thrown into the path of his motorbike while driving in Bristol
A ‘reckless’ teen has been jailed for 38 months after he admitted killing a rival by causing him to lose control of his motorcycle and smash head-first into a stationary van.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, threw a yellow hire push bike (YoBike) in front of Michael-Lee Rice as he sped past a pub on his motorcycle.
Mr Rice, 20, had been riding the vehicle in an attempt to wind up a rival group, including the killer, before tensions escalated in April.
He initially denied murder, manslaughter and causing a danger to road users at Bristol Crown Court.
But yesterday he changed his plea five days into the trial and admitted manslaughter.
The teen will now serve three years and two months in a young offenders institution.
Adam Vaitilingam QC, prosecuting, told the court the motorbike had been stolen and Mr Rice was riding it around the streets of Hartcliffe in a ‘provocative way’.
He explained Mr Rice was from Knowle West and there was ‘clearly no love lost’ between young men from those two areas.
Mr Vaitilingam said: ‘For a Knowle Wester to be riding that motorbike in a provocative way through the heart of Hartcliffe was no doubt designed to wind them up, and it had exactly that effect on the boy.’
CCTV showed a young man in a grey hooded top dragging a yellow bicycle into the path of the motorbike
A specialist collision investigator explained that Michael had no time to react and lost control after clipping the bicycle. The motorbike collided with a parked van and Michael, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene
Judge Peter Blair QC gave the teen boy five per cent credit for his guilty plea, but said: ‘There is only one possible sentence open to me for this grave crime.’
He said the boy had previous convictions which revealed his quickness of temper, which had dogged him in his life and were connected to his upbringing.
The judge said Mr Rice was killed when he lost control of the powerful sports motorbike.
He said Mr Rice should not have lost his life and whatever sentence he passed would be regarded as cheap.
He outlined how Mr Rice was seen riding at some 50mph on Fulford Road but slowed to 23mph as he passed the Fulford pub.
When the boy saw Mr Rice pass he went outside and as Mr Rice returned voices in the crowd said things should be put in the road to stop the biker.
‘Witnesses who saw Michael Rice first ride down Fulford Road say that he was revving the engine of the motorbike loudly,’ prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam QC told Bristol Crown Court
The defendant then dragged a YoBike into the road, with Mr Rice pulling a wheelie towards the crowd.
The judge told the teenager: ‘When you took that decision to do that dangerous thing you were doing it to impress the teenagers around you. It was a reckless act.’
The court heard Mr Rice could not avoid the YoBike.
In a panic reaction he put on the front brake as he pulled the wheelie, he was thrown off the motorbike and hit the parked van.
The judge said: ‘You were responsible for that.’