Aracer - I'm surprised there isn't more reliance on expect evidence to define what is the standard they expect - perhaps there was, or the Judge made clear instructions to the Jury on how they should ignore their own prejudices. However there was 4 days of evidence and Jury took 4 hours to consider the point. Is it just POSSIBLE that they were better informed than either you or the Journo (who almost certainly didn't sit in on it all)? Don't forget that they need to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt - not just the most likely scenario.
It's possible there's some other really important detail which the journo missed, which makes driving into a cyclist from behind excusable. I'm kind of struggling to work out what that might be though, so on balance of probabilities I have to assume that the jury took the standard line of excusing bad driving because their standard of careful and competent driving is based on how poorly they themselves drive. If this was an isolated case, then poor reporting might be more likely, but it's a systemic issue with the system. The thing is, the sandwich is irrelevant - simply the act of mowing down a cyclist from behind given perfectly adequate visibility (I think it is beyond reasonable doubt that the cyclist had working lights, despite what is claimed by the defendant) is far below the standard of a careful and competent driver. The driver admits running the cyclist down - I'm not quite sure what reasonable doubt there could possibly be. I mean failing to have proper regard for vulnerable road users is now in the official charging guide for CDBDD FFS! If mowing down a cyclist in this way is only slightly below the standard of a careful and competent driver, then by inference careful and competent drivers only just fail to avoid doing so!
What's worse though is the usual lenient sentencing from the judge. According to the sentencing guidelines there are 3 possible bands for sentencing CDBCD. The given sentence is either the most lenient possible for the middle band, or a fairly harsh sentence for the lower band. The lower band should be immediately ruled out as the guidelines suggest "no aggravating factors" - however the person killed being a vulnerable road user is explicitly defined as being an aggravating factor. However on the same basis the lowest possible sentence for the middle band should be ruled out as that would also imply no aggravating factors. In any case it seems quite clear that if the jury took 4 hours to decide on the charge of CDBDD then they certainly considered it not far short of that - an opinion the judge clearly doesn't share, as that would have put it into the highest band. What a crock of **** when a trained judge doesn't even consider running into the back of a cyclist to be close to being dangerous driving. Once more this is a systemic problem - drivers convicted of CDBDD when killing a cyclist pretty much never get sentenced in the higher band, when logic would suggest that most of them should meet the criteria for that.
Oh and for those who argue that what we need are long driving bans rather than prison sentences, the driving ban given is also the shortest possible according to sentencing guidelines - for CDBDD the ban starts at 2 years.
Thus if I kill someone in that crash the jury shouldn't automatically assume it must have been dangerous because someone died.
No - but if you fail to see somebody and run them down from behind, that strikes me as dangerous.
BTW regarding telling whether the light was on when the collision occurred, I was thinking that they can do that with filament lamps, but a rear bike lamp is almost certainly an LED nowadays, and I can't think of any way to tell with one of those.