Is this really a reasonable sentence given the gravity of the issue?

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  • Is this really a reasonable sentence given the gravity of the issue?
  • eyerideit
    Member

    I’d say no, it’s not, but the courts/legal system/society don’t give a f*ck if you’re killed on a bike.

    Seems like ‘perfect’ way to get away with murder/manslaughter.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    No. The question though should be whether it’s a surprising sentence. To which the answer is also no.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t even sound like he’s been banned from driving, despite his poor driving being responsible for 2 deaths now (even if accidental as he claims). WTF? Surely he can’t be allowed behind the wheel again?

    Omar Little
    Member

    that is a disgrace but not at all surprisingly, which is extremely depressing πŸ™

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Such a depressingly familiar thread and story. How often do we see this now?

    Has that sentence done anything to make anybody safer?

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Just indicative of the skewed prorities we have in this country, spend millions putting in paths, steps and fencing so those accessing the control boxes on the motorway embankments to reduce the relatively low risk of a minor accident whilst completely failing to tackle the main cause behind thousands of deaths each year. Ironically the steps are often not that safe afer they fail to cut the grass / don’t repair them when a car goes through the railings like one on the M66.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t even sound like he’s been banned from driving

    Last line of the article: “McCourt was also banned from driving for five years”

    It’s this part that really annoys me:

    “However, she was not wearing a safety helmet and that in my view contributed to her death.”

    When did you last see in an article about someone being stabbed to death that they were at least partially responsible, as they weren’t wearing a stab vest!?

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Sheriff Scott said: “I take into account that the accused has repeatedly expressed genuine remorse for causing the death of Mrs Fyfe.

    “I take into account that the accused has been ill and has suffered from depression and that he displays signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    “Mrs Fyffe wasn’t to blame in any way for the accident.

    “However, she was not wearing a safety helmet and that in my view contributed to her death.”Sheriff Scott needs hauling over the coals for that load of ill-informed shite

    Premier Icon hopkinsgm
    Subscriber

    I am confused. According to the BBC article:
    Gary McCourt, 49, from Edinburgh, was found guilty last month of killing Audrey Fyfe, 75, in August 2011
    McCourt had previously been found guilty in 1986 of causing another cyclist’s death by reckless driving
    He was jailed for two years after cyclist George Dalgity, 22, a student from Edinburgh, was killed while he cycled along the city’s Regent Road on 18 October 1995
    It’s possible that my maths is worse than I thought, but I make that three…

    phil.w
    Member

    “However, she was not wearing a safety helmet and that in my view contributed to her death.”

    Sheriff Scott needs hauling over the coals for that load of ill-informed shite

    I bet TJ’s on the way round already. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Yeah I saw that, seemed like a slap on the wrist and a “woopsy you’ve done it again haven’t you, you naughty so and so” attitude.

    There was an arrest wrt that other cyclist killed in Edinburgh last year fairly recently too, seemed a long time after the event. Not sure when that will go to trial.

    vintagewino
    Member

    that junction scares me every time I cycle past it. I remember seeing the sign up after she was killed. Moral: it’s ok to hit cyclists if they aren’t wearing helmets.

    noid
    Member

    Doesn’t even sound like he’s been banned from driving, despite his poor driving being responsible for 2 deaths now (even if accidental as he claims).

    a 5 yr ban actually

    franksinatra –

    Has that sentence done anything to make anybody safer? well that is presumably the intent of the 5yr ban.

    It’s possible that my maths is worse than I thought, but I make that three…

    or like the rest of the dodgy journalism it was a typo and should have been 1985.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    “Mrs Fyffe wasn’t to blame in any way for the accident.

    “However, she was not wearing a safety helmet and that in my view contributed to her death.”

    ALL

    MY

    RAGE.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Last line of the article: “McCourt was also banned from driving for five years”

    That wasn’t there when first linked and commented on (it appears to have been a work in progress). Nor was the bit about the helmet, hence why early commenters weren’t raging about that.

    He was previously found guilty in 1986 of killing a cyclist in 1985 (you don’t really expect a conviction to happen in less than 6 weeks from the incident).

    You know what actually really boils my piss though:
    “Sheriff James Scott said he felt able to spare McCourt prison because there were no aggravating factors, such as drink or drug abuse.”

    Supposedly being in a collision with a vulnerable road user should be an aggravating factor, one which is routinely ignored.

    dabble
    Member

    LOUD NOISES! I can’t even think of a coherent thing to say other than ****! the lot of em, it is quite clear the judiciary in this country couldn’t give two turds about cyclists on the roads. They are somewhat hampered by the pathetic laws and the fact that if you are in a car you must be in the right unless proven otherwise. I’ll say it again, ****!

    bigG
    Member

    Driver kills a cyclist, has previously been convicted of causing death by reckless driving. 300 hours community service? Really?

    What if she’d been a pedestrian?

    Superficial
    Member

    Utterly ridiculous.

    This guy is responsible for the deaths of two people and he gets community service?

    The bit about the helmet is equally frustrating / moronic / ridiculous.

    brakes
    Member

    this just sickens me.

    I remember seeing the sign up after she was killed.

    did the sign say “if you’re not on drugs and there’s a cyclist in the way who’s not wearing a helmet, plough on through”

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    The bit about the helmet is equally frustrating / moronic / ridiculous.

    Its irrelevent, she may, or may not have been wearing knickers. Doesn’t change the fact she was run down and killed. Oh I’m all cross again now, I’d calmed down.

    What are the odds of killing 2 cyclists by accident in seperate incidents?

    I’m rubbish at maths and my stats are ball park but here goes.

    Well 122 died in 2012
    There are around 50million drivers.
    So if you drove for 60 years there could be 7,320 deaths
    So I reckon your chances of causing one death is 0.00014640

    Two, I calculate at 2.143296e-8

    Mathematicians, I think I need help. Is that right?

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Its irrelevent, she may, or may not have been wearing knickers. Doesn’t change the fact she was run down and killed.

    +1

    The Sheriff needs taking outside and being shot.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Given the low odds of killing even one cyclist by driving, the odds on killing two must be tiny. Presumably the Sheriff took the infinitesimally small odds of causing a third into consideration during his sentencing πŸ™„

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    There are around 5million drivers.

    I don’t believe it’s anywhere near that low.

    aracer – typo edited to 50 now

    RAC say 30 Million so if anyone wants to improve my rubbish maths

    mrmo
    Member

    give it a few more years and there’ll be a bounty on each cyclist killed to collect.

    TiRed
    Member

    Given the low odds of killing even one cyclist by driving, the odds on killing two must be tiny

    The Roy Meadow’s statistical defence πŸ™

    To be honest 300 hours community service for careless (not dangerous or reckless) driving is pretty severe, and just stops short of a custodial sentence. I can well believe that having served a sentence for one death, he’d be remorseful. But sometimes people can be unlucky.

    See how long Nicky Lovell gets sentenced for killing two in Bristol whilst disqualified.

    Oh and the judges comments about not wearing a helmet made me more upset than the sentence.

    Unbelievable. The sentence needs to be appealed and the judge needs to be struck off.

    wrecker
    Member

    Are the groups which are supposed to represent cyclists actually doing anything about this?
    Cyclists have no collective voice other than BC etc. Until someone kicks off, nothing will change. Internet incredulity just won’t cut it, however well meaning.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    But sometimes people can be unlucky.

    Yes, the cyclists.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    ND wrote:

    Are the groups which are supposed to represent cyclists actually doing anything about this?
    Cyclists have no collective voice other than BC etc. Until someone kicks off, nothing will change. Internet incredulity just won’t cut it, however well meaning.

    That’s always been the issue. There’s always thr Pedal on Parliament. At least it attempts to show the strength of feeling/numbers involved.

    Home – CURRENT

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Unbelievable comments by the judge. If the guy had killed another driver who wasn’t wearing a crash helmet whilst driving then would he have made a similar comment?

    dabble
    Member

    What we want
    1.Proper funding for cycling.
    2.Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
    3.Slower speeds where people live, work and play
    4.Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
    5.Improved road traffic law and enforcement
    6.Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
    7.A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
    8.Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy

    I think they need to add to that “Sentences for drivers that actually reflect the seriousness of what has happened, ie a death should be treated as manslaughter (at the least) and the sentence handed out should bear relevance to that fact.”

    Drivers literally getting away with murder.

    Edit- I am a driver, I drive for work, but the driving population need to realise they aren’t the only ones on the road.

    noid
    Member

    That wasn’t there when first linked and commented on (it appears to have been a work in progress).

    no but it was easy to find in google – so before people get irate at one news article perhaps they need to do their research. At least then they could be annoyed for good reason!

    300 hours community service can, I believe, only be used as an alternative to prison. i.e. the Sheriff considered prison, asked for the required reports and decided that there was an alternative. He does outline his reasons for this. Is sentencing someone suffering from PTSD and depression to prison a particularly smart move?

    There are no sentencing guidelines in Scotland, but as TiRed points out Careless driving is at the bottom end of the scale. Without having heard all the evidence and seen all the reports etc its impossible to say if it falls within the English sentencing guidance, but Community Orders are possible outcomes of Death by Careless Driving cases in England. Failing to take account of vulnerable road users is a factor in assessing the seriousness of the offence rather than explicitly an aggravating factor – so to the lay reader that may seem odd, but the distinction seems valid.

    noid
    Member

    “Sentences for drivers that actually reflect the seriousness of what has happened, ie a death should be treated as manslaughter (at the least) and the sentence handed out should bear relevance to that fact.”

    But death by dangerous / careless driving was invented because manslaughter was too hard to prove in most cases.

    Drivers literally getting away with murder.

    suggest you go and look up the definition of murder.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    noid wrote:

    > Drivers literally getting away with murder.
    suggest you go and look up the definition of literally.

    FTFY πŸ™‚

    robinbetts
    Member

    Everyone’s saying that the sentence is terrible, but may I ask what he should have had?
    Life ban from driving?
    Life in prison?
    Death sentence?

    It seems to me that this person unfortunately had a collision with a cyclist nearly 30 years ago and went to prison for 2 years for it, as it was deemed by the courts to be reckless driving.

    30 years later, unfortunately again, he has another collision. All it says in that article is that he clipped her wheel. We can’t see exactly what happened, and the courts have only deemed it careless driving, and have given the punishment that they see fit.

    Everyone here seems to be talking as though this guy is careering round the streets, knocking down cyclists left right and centre! I don’t see any sign that he was intending to cause any accidents, and guess what, accidents happen. Referring to this as “murder” seems a bit strong.

    I’m not in favour of light sentences if the driver has been genuinely reckless, and maybe in both of these cases they could have been stronger, but I don’t see that people should be locked up and the key thrown away just because of an accident.

    Cycling is a dangerous activity, especially in a city. There are accidents on the roads everyday, and not always because someone was being reckless. We don’t know anything about what the cyclists where doing at the time. I’m not blaming the cyclist in any way, just saying we don’t have the information.

    And everyone’s getting upset about the helmet comment. If you choose to ride your bike with cars you’re taking a risk. They’re much bigger than you, and if you hit one/one hits you, you’re going to lose. If you choose to ride your bike with cars and not wear a helmet (it’s your choice), you just increase your risk.

    Hyperthetical question:
    If a driver had two collisions with cyclists over his lifetime and they both got up and road away because they were wearing helmets, or they both died because they weren’t and suffered serious head injuries, should the driver receive the same or different punishments?

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