"Crown Counsel will give careful consideration as to whether the sentence was unduly lenient."
Indeed and the Crown Office will have the advantage of having "all" the facts of the case in front of them rather than just the bits reported in the press or even the bits you want to hear.
He'll be out painting fences.
Yes, or repairing / building cycle paths, or doing other stuff that might actually benefit society. Whilst the punishment part of the sentence might seem low, especially for a second offence, I wonder (as presumably the Sheriff did) what benefit there would be from sending another person with mental health issues to our prisons. Judges (including Sheriffs) are actually pretty good at listening to ALL the information, and reading the reports from Social Work etc and coming to reasoned and balanced decisions rather than getting emotional about the particular type of case or pet issue. They may also become a bit hardened to the realities of the shit end of society though - so there is perhaps some leniency towards those who didn't set out with intent because every day they see idiots who stab, punch, attack, steal, rape, etc with clear intent and obvious consequences.
He SHOULD receive a lifetime ban, it's only by making examples out of these pricks that the wider population will take notice.
I'm not convinced that is true. Nobody* sets out in the morning believing their driving is likely to cause an accident, and certainly not to kill someone. There is however vast amounts of inconsiderate or careless driving that could cause an accident were it not for a degree of luck (or skill from other road users). If you want to make the roads safer via the courts, I don't think the answer is to worry about draconian sentences for the tiny proportion of bad driving which results in death - the answer is to have far higher detection and conviction for the minor matters every day. If I** believe I am likely to get caught and prosecuted for the minor stuff then I'm less likely to take chances. If less people take chances, less will go wrong and fewer people will get hurt/killed. Can anyone here say they have changed their behaviour for either of the following reasons:
(1) Their Sat Nav, local knowledge or a road sign warned of an upcoming (mobile) speed camera and the fear of 3pts and £60 fine.
(2) They thought if I crash and kill someone then a prison sentence is likely.
The empirical evidence from my experience on the roads is that I am much more likely to get a fine for overstaying in a safe parking place than speeding, jumping a red light, not paying attention, using my phone, shouting at the kids. Indeed the number of people who 'tot up' to 12 pts suggests that even when sitting on 9pts a lot of people still think that the chance of detection is tiny - even if the consequences are high.
The fallacy is that what he did only involved a momentary lapse of concentration. The thing is, if he'd been driving correctly otherwise, a momentary lapse of concentration wouldn't have resulted in him clipping the back wheel of a cyclist and killing her.
well possibly, although without listening to the facts of the case that may only be speculation. The fact he plead not guilty suggest he (or his lawyer) thought he might convince the jury that there was at least some doubt that it was just an accident.
The thing is, the very act of hitting a cyclist ought to be evidence enough in itself of reckless driving (or whatever the next step up is from careless - can't be bothered to search right now).
Inconsiderate < Careless (below the standard expected) < Dangerous (far below the standard expected)
You may be right, but this decision is not the Sheriff's, it is the Crown's (although in some cases the Judge/Jury may convict on the less serious charge).
It should be such a long way below the standard of driving of somebody driving properly that it's not possible for it to just be careless.
I think this is the crux of the issue. "Cyclists" believe that every accident involving a car must be the drivers fault and must be dangerous***. I think the use of the word Dangerous is unhelpful in the charge as clearly any circumstances resulting in a collision are dangerous and it is difficult to imagine in lay terms a better word to describe driving that results in death. However Dangerous Driving in the law has a specific meaning which I don't think most cyclists agree with, especially on the interpretation of 'far below the standard of a careful and competent driver'. It might be clearer and have better case law to define it if we saw more Careless or Dangerous prosecutions when there were no casualties. I think there is also a tendency to think that Careless is the least significant - but actually its the middle of three offences.
* well nobody sane
** obviously like all STW drivers my own driving is faultless
*** sweeping generalisation of course