Driver Found Guilty of Killing RAF Captain on A40

Captain Tom Barratt was 'well respected and charistmatic and will be sadly missed'


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A van driver has been found guilty of causing the death of an RAF Captain who was cycling on the A40 Outside his Northolt base.

Paul Luker, 51 dry cleaning delivery driver, of Farnham
Royle, Slough, was today (22 February) found guilty of causing death by careless driving at Harrow Crown Court.

He is due to be sentenced on 26 March.

The court heard how, during the afternoon rush hour in 10 March 2011, Group Captain Tomas-Arne Barratt, 44 (known as Tom), a Station Commander at RAF Northolt, had been cycling towards his Buckinghamshire home after completing duties at the base.

Just after 17:00hrs, as Group Captain Barratt was cycling along the west-bound A40 directly opposite his place of work, he was struck from behind by a white Ford Transit van, which was being driven by Luker.

Swedish born Group Captain Barratt, a who had been a keen cyclist and president of the RAF Triathlon Association, was hit with such force, he was propelled into a cycle lane running along the opposite side of the road.

Police and the London Ambulance Service were called, and Group Captain Barratt was taken to St Mary's Hospital in a critical condition. He died later that night.

A post-mortem examination which took place at Uxbridge Mortuary on 15 March 2011 and gave the cause of his death as multiple injuries.

Luker, who had stopped at the scene, was subsequently arrested on 1 April and later charged on 27 June with Causing death by careless driving.

The incident was investigated by the Road Death Investigation Unit at Alperton Traffic Garage.

Chief Superintendent Julian Worker of Hillingdon Police said:

"I knew Tom through working with him and the RAF. He was a committed member of the Safer Hillingdon Partnership. He was extremely well respected, charismatic and had one of those very sunny dispositions. I found him energetic and always seeking to engage with the local
community, including through actively hosting events at RAF Uxbridge (before closing) and at RAF Northolt. He was fiercely proud of his country and the RAF. He will be sadly missed.

"My thoughts are with his wife, children and family to whom, on behalf of Hillingdon Police, I send our condolences."

Group Captain Barratt leaves behind his wife Sophie and two young daughters.





23rd February 2012


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