US Air Force asserts jurisdiction in case of worker accused over biker's death in Norfolk

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The US Air Force has asserted jurisdiction in the prosecution of a servicewoman charged with causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving, a court has heard.

Motorcyclist Matthew Day, 33, died from injuries after a red Honda Accord car collided with the Yamaha motorbike he was riding in Norfolk, at Southery near Downham Market, last Friday.

Airman first class Mikayla Hayes, 23, who is based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, was released on conditional bail on Wednesday after appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Caroline Gardner said the US Air Force (USAF) has served the Crown Prosecution Service with a certificate under the 1952 Visiting Forces Act, which asserts jurisdiction.

It is understood that, if granted, Hayes could face a US military court.

However, the prosecution will argue that she was not on duty or acting in the course of her duty at the time of the incident, which is said to have taken place as she was driving home from the base.

Hayes spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth and address as she appeared in the dock.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram adjourned the case to 11 November for legal argument over the issue.

The incident happened in the constituency of foreign secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss.

Major Keavy Rake, the USAF chief of public affairs at RAF Lakenheath, said: "RAF Lakenheath is aware of the fatality resulting from a vehicular accident involving a US service member.

"We express our deepest, most sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.

"We are and will remain in full co-operation with the Norfolk authorities during the investigation."

Officers were called to the B1160 Lynn Road at its junction with Ferry Bank shortly after 4pm last Friday to a collision involving a red Yamaha motorbike and a red Honda Accord, Norfolk Police said.

Hayes was arrested, charged and remanded in custody following a hearing at Norfolk Magistrates' Court last week.

She was granted bail on Wednesday with conditions of residence at her home in Downham Market and attending King's Lynn police station every Saturday.

Her passport is to be retained by the US Air Force, she is not allowed to apply for any documents for international travel, and she cannot leave England and Wales.

The Home Office said it could not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.