Family’s sadness as driver cleared over Sunderland girl’s road death

Katelyn Weldon
Katelyn Weldon
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A MUM today hit out after a driver accused of knocking down and killing her daughter was cleared over the death.

Claire Weldon branded the move “very disappointing” after Michael Porter appeared in court charged over the death of 11-year-old Katelyn Weldon.

Katelyn was cycling home with Claire when she was hit by a car on Washington Road, Sunderland, on Saturday, March 30, 2010.

Her death shocked the community and hundreds turned out to say goodbye at her funeral service at St Bede’s Church in Town End Farm.

Following the tragedy, Mr Porter, of Capetown Road, Castletown, was charged with causing death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured.

Mr Porter was accused of causing Katelyn’s death while driving with no insurance. It was claimed he was not insured to drive the Vauxhall Vectra involved in the accident.

The case appeared before magistrates in Sunderland numerous times before finally being sent to Newcastle Crown Court.

But now, Judge John Evans was told the prosecution would be presenting no evidence against Mr Porter and a verdict of not guilty was recorded.

Mum Claire, 37, today said: “I have had this going on for almost four years and now they decided nothing is going to happen.

“It’s all very disappointing.

“I was told from the beginning there was no possibility of him going to jail but I had hoped a case would go ahead after all this time.”

Katelyn, a pupil at Bexhill Primary School, lived a short distance away from the scene of the accident and was a talented member of Town End Farm Disco Dancers. She was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital suffering from head injuries shortly after 9pm on the day of the crash, but died later.

On the day of her funeral, schoolfriends and neighbours from across the community lined the streets, heads bowed as the funeral procession passed by. A cream-coloured carriage, pulled by white horses with pink plumes, carried the youngster’s pink coffin to the church.

After the funeral service, Katelyn’s coffin was taken in the horse-drawn carriage to Mere Knolls Cemetery in Seaburn for burial.