Mikayla Hayes: US servicewoman accused of killing motorcyclist in Norfolk to be tried in UK court

A US servicewoman accused of killing a motorist in Norfolk will be tried in the UK, a judge has ruled.

Airman first class Mikayla Hayes is accused of causing the death of 33-year-old Matthew Day by careless driving back in August.

The father-of-one died of his injuries after a red Honda Accord car collided with his Yamaha motorbike while he was riding on the A10 in the village of Southery, in Norfolk.

Deputy senior district judge Tan Ikram had been considering whether to grant the 24-year-old a trial in a US military court, as she had requested, or to allow the UK courts to deal with her case as argued by prosecutors.

Lawyers for Hayes had argued that she was still on active duty at the time of the alleged incident and was returning home after a shift at RAF Lakenheath, in Suffolk, and should therefore face a US military court.

Barrister Andrew Cogan had said his client had been wearing uniform as she made the 30-minute journey, which is paid for by her employer.

The US Air Force (USAF) had served the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with a certificate under the 1952 Visiting Forces Act, which asserts jurisdiction.

But, Judge Ikram overruled this argument on Wednesday, instead agreeing with prosecutor Rachel Scott, who said that Hayes was no longer on duty while driving home.

'She was simply travelling home after a day at work'

Outlining his decision, the judge said: "There is no additional payment for the journey home.

"There is no evidence the fuel for her journey was paid for by the US Air Force. She paid for the fuel herself.

"While I note that her accommodation was paid for by the US Air Force, I do not find that a factor as to whether she was on duty.

"She was simply travelling home after a day at work."

Hayes has now elected to be tried by a jury at crown court and has entered a not guilty plea following the ruling at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

She will next appear at Norwich Crown Court on 21 December.