A FATHER-OF-TWO who killed a motorcyclist by braking ‘violently’ on the M65 has been found guilty and could be facing a prison sentence.

Mark Walsh, 35, was found guilty of causing the death of Peter Sarchet, a 41-year-old father-of-three, by dangerous driving on the M65 at Walton-le- Dale, on November 1, 2011.

The defendant, of Balliol Close, Padiham, had denied the allegation during a four-day trial at Burnley Crown Court.

Walsh, a commissioning engineer in Warrington, had his case adjourned until August 9, for a pre-sentence report, by Judge Robert Altham. He had no previous convictions.

The Crown had told the jury the defendant had braked sharply for no good reason, making Mr Sarchet fall off his motorbike and slide under Walsh’s company Vauxhall Insignia.

The defendant was, said the prosecution, driving on the clear, westbound carriageway, at less than 10mph, steering to the left.

Prosecutor Robert Elias said Walsh had ‘all but stopped’, and he had been ‘an accident waiting to happen’ and ‘inviting catastrophe’.

Mr Elias had told the court: “No competent driver would consciously drive at less than 10mph on the motorway. There was no good reason for him to brake heavily.”

Mr Sarchet, a retail manager from Worsthorne, lost control, fell off his Yamaha, slid across the carriageway, was forced under the back of Walsh’s car and was ‘effectively crushed’. He suffered multiple injuries and probably died instantly, the court heard.

Walsh did not give evidence in the trial.

The court was told when he was interviewed by police on December 21, 2011, he gave a prepared statement, saying he had been travelling at 70mph.

He claimed he had automatically braked and tried to steer his car on to the hard shoulder to avoid a collision after he heard a loud bang at the back of his vehicle.

In his closing speech, the defendant’s barrister told the jury something must have happened ahead of Walsh to explain why he braked.

After the tragedy, Mr Sarchet, who was travelling to work in Preston, was described as ‘the rock of his family’.

His widow Jill said: “Peter was a devoted family man and lived for his children. He was loving, loyal, very hard-working and the core of our family.

“Everything he did was selfless and our loss cannot be described. He will be missed beyond words.”