A family has paid tribute to a ‘kind’ and ‘funny’ young man who died in a motorcycle crash.

The inquest into the death of Richard Stanley Lee Hallett was held at Bournemouth Town Hall on Wednesday.

Mr Hallett, died aged 25, following a crash at a junction in Poundbury on Friday, September 14.

The inquest began with a statement from Mr Hallett’s mother, Tina Cooper.

The statement read: “Richard was the most amazing son, he was kind, funny, thoughtful, generous, loving and considerate. His life was so tragically cut short, everyone who met him was devastated. We have all been left heartbroken by the death of our beloved Richard and we will miss him forever.”

The inquest heard how Mr Hallet had been travelling westerly from Harewood Road when he was in collision with a white Iveco van on the junction with Lower Blakemere Road.

The van was being driven by courier Andrew Bell from Yeovil, who was travelling up Lower Blakemere Road, looking for a customer.

There were conflicting accounts on whether Mr Bell who called his customer for directions, had his phone held up against his left ear or on loudspeaker at the time of the crash.

However, coroner Brendan Allen later concluded: “It seems to me, beyond a mere coincidence that Mr Bell was identified with his phone.

“I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities he did have his phone in his hand held to his left ear at the time of the collision.”

Mr Allen said neither driver was travelling at an ‘excessive speed’ towards the junction, but both had ‘poor sight lines’ as a result of nearby buildings and parked cars.

Mr Bell told the coroner he thought the junction was a roundabout and that he didn’t have the right of way.

He said he stopped before pulling away slowly when he crashed with Richard and he couldn’t see any traffic coming towards him or crossing his path at the time.

During the crash, the front wheel of Mr Hallett’s motorcycle struck the driver side front wing of Mr Bell’s van.

Mr Hallett was then separated from his vehicle and due to the impact of the crash, his helmet, which hadn’t been fastened properly, flew from his head.

He died two days later in hospital from severe head injuries.

Mr Allen said: “I feel the appropriate conclusion is one of road traffic collision.”

He said he would be writing a report on issues raised during the inquest in the hope of preventing further deaths.

Discussing the issue of using mobile phones when driving, Mr Allen commented: “The emphasis is on the importance of being aware of the road and people keeping their mind on the road as opposed to other distractions.”

He said he would also be writing about the importance of clothing being used appropriately, an issue raised by Mr Hallett’s family, who he said was ‘determined Richard’s death had not been for nothing.’

Speaking after the inquest, Gary Cooper, the uncle of Mr Hallett, said: “I think the coroner came to the right conclusion that the driver was on his phone and had it held against his ear. I think the lady who gave evidence was a credible source and there was no doubt in my mind that she was telling the truth.

He added: “We miss Richard. He was only a little fella but for a little fella he left a big hole in people’s lives.”

'He had his phone to his ear' claims witness

The Coroner concluded that Mr Bell had been holding his phone up against his ear moments before the crash.

Witness Sarah Soward, said: “It was a gentleman in a van, a white van, diving by. He was coming from my right to my left.

“I saw the gentleman holding his mobile phone to his ear with a brown leather case, it had been flipped down. He was holding it to his left hand side.”

She said she confronted the van driver about using his phone, but ‘he just looked back at her in bewilderment’.

When questioned by the coroner, Mr Bell said he had been delivering a piece of furniture in Poundbury at the time of the crash.

He said he pulled up into a layby at Buttermarket Square, where he called his customer for directions.

He claimed he placed the phone in his car’s cradle on loud speaker and denied holding it up against his ear during the crash.

He also said the phone had fallen out of the cradle into a box following the crash, police later confirmed a Samsung phone had been found in a box under the passenger’s footwell.

When asked about the confrontation with Ms Soward, he said: “I don’t remember that lady speaking to me, I remember another lady asking me if I was OK and I said I’m more concerned about the driver.’

Mr Bell said he doesn’t own a phone case like the one described by Ms Soward, also confirmed by police.