I don’t usually comment on driver sentencing but this one is plain ridiculous

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  • I don’t usually comment on driver sentencing but this one is plain ridiculous
  • tpbiker
    Member

    https://road-cc.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/road.cc/content/news/255988-suspended-sentence-motorist-who-doubled-back-deliberately-drive-cyclist?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1&amp#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2F255988-suspended-sentence-motorist-who-doubled-back-deliberately-drive-cyclist

    Being careless is bad enough, but then to double back and use your car as a weapon…deliberatly…

    And as part of the reason he didn’t go to jail judge stated..’particular difficulties which would make a prison sentence particularly difficult”

    Wtf? I’m sure if I went to prison it would be a bit difficult for me as well. Hence the reason I try not to kill folks that slightly annoy me.

    rene59
    Member

    Nodder had a previous conviction and ban for driving without due care and attention in 2014.

    Sums it up.

    bukobuko
    Member

    Hence the reason I try not to kill folks that slightly annoy me. LOL

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    …the cyclist remonstrated with him for driving with his head down…

    And he’s called ‘Nodder’… Nobody?

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    But yeah, yet again motorised bellendery receives the weakest possible sentence for the flimsiest of reasons, because carz iz tha bestest…

    As in the other thread take away his licence and don’t give it back… Suspended sentence or not he can’t be trusted with a car and other people’s safety, so why take the chance…

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    The most irritating bit is that supposedly the judge felt that a stronger sentence wasn’t required because there was a lack of a serious prior conviction – perpetuating the view that driving without due care & attention is trivial

    stoopid **** -er

    Premier Icon cynic-al
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    Should be assault with a weapon

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    I’m not saying this is right or wrong, I don’t know…….

    I’d have been the first to be reaching for the pitchfork on the report of that case, but then on a recommendation from here I read

    and my opinion has changed, markedly.

    Not in that this sounds like a dreadful offence and there are so many facts unreported and unanswered, but in the sense that before handing down a sentence like this the courts will (hopefully) have taken a lot into account and this might be the right sentencing outcome.

    It might not, you all need to read the book and form your own opinions about how **** up our legal system can be at times.

    We can’t say if it’s right or not based on that report, although I’ll stick my neck out here and say if he genuinely has learning and behavioural issues that would make a custodial sentence particularly difficult, I’d also question whether those behavioural difficulties (anger management maybe) mean he should ever be allowed to drive a car again. But that might not be an allowed sentence for the level of driving offence (all in the book again)

    kerley
    Member

    But that might not be an allowed sentence for the level of driving offence (all in the book again)

    Which is the bit that need to change. Loss of licence for rest of life should be an option in a lot of driving offences.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    @ theotherjonv

    You make a fair point and it’s true that most reports will be sparse on details around sentencing.

    I would still like to see long and/or lifetime bans for driving offences, I’m not a “hang ’em flog’ em” type, I recognise that prison sentences are often not going to solve much in these sort of cases.

    Honestly I think heavier driving bans will be better for society and maybe even the offender in some cases…

    Its not enough though is it?
    Using a 1.5T lump hammer to hit someone needs upgrading in law to a much higher levelof crime , assult with a deadly weapon is what it is . If you shoot someone in the leg you still get done for shooting someone. If you attack someone with a knife and stab them in the hand you will be prosected very severly, its not the outcome but the act itself
    He didnt leave the house with the intent on murdering the cyclist , but stopping your car when challenged for driving like a tool ( classic checking his FB updates on phone in crotch area ) head down position. Then turning round and chasing down the cyclist , then ramming him from behind shows intent , no way accidental.
    What went through his mind. ‘I am going to teach that bender on a bike a lesson he won’t forget’, ‘ Nobody shouts at me and gets away with it’ etc

    5 year driving ban . Re-test.- anger managemnet training , must drive with black box fitted . Fine , community service , payment to cyclist of a realistic amount of compo, not £100

    antigee
    Member

    But that might not be an allowed sentence for the level of driving offence

    prison sentence might not be appropriate for the offender but my take on this is that treating it as a “driving offence” is the problem – its assault (of some sort) using a vehicle as a weapon and was a deliberate act by the driver – luck was on the cyclists side on the outcome – no driving many years and many years scrubbing off graffiti or whatever not the sentence given

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    back from riding my bike, on the roads, with idiots. I still haven’t changed my stance though 😉

    Seriously…. I urge everyone to read that book. It is a proper eye opener, and while you think it might not happen to you, the fact is anyone could (mistakenly even) be accused of a crime and need to defend themselves. Would you get legal aid? Could you afford a barrister, knowing that even if you are exonerated or the case is later dropped, you might not necessarily get his fees back / all of his fees. You might have been held on remand for a serious case, losing you your job, relationship, etc. System is **** up.

    Anyway, back to the point. Again there’s a possibility, and we are not in possession of the facts, that while to us it looks like assault with a deadly weapon, it’s not the lawyers, or the judges call. It’s the CPS, a department that has been stripped bare by successive governments, with case loads way above what they can deal with, a crap system for gathering and sharing evidence with the defence, and at any stage missing something critical can cause the case to collapse. It’s not right but an open and shut dangerous driving that the defendant is prepared to  accept and a case that gets successfully closed with minimal fuss and court time and cost, it’s absolutely not right but that’s how it works. Hence the title of the book, How the Law is Broken.

    We spend less on our public prosecutor than we spend on giving pensioners free TV licences. That’s why he got a driving ban, not because of a wishy washy judge or a law that sides with the motorist.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    Not sure, TOJV

    He admitted dangerous driving and leaving the scene.

    Judge James Townsend said: “This was a quite deliberate bad piece of driving committed on a cyclist, a vulnerable road user. He was put at substantial risk of being very seriously injured or worse. “t was perhaps miraculous that he survived with nasty but not severe injuries.”

    – conviction secured and after that sentencing is for the judge isn’t it ?
    Now I don’t really quibble with one of the reasons for not jailing him (i.e. his personal difficulties) but to say that the other was his “lack of a serious previous conviction” is just bollocks. I’m not aware of a formal definition of “serious conviction” and so that interpretation is the judges IMO and it is a dangerous one

    Premier Icon Vortexracing
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    Why did they have to mention how much the bike was he was riding??

    That’s F*** all to do with being driven at in a 1.5 tonne metal box !!!!

    Its abit like saying ‘ He smashed him in face 37 times with a claw hammer , but as he hadn’t done anything like it before I gave him a 3 month suspended sentance ‘

    Or ‘ well he’s never been a suicide bomber before ………..’

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    – conviction secured and after that sentencing is for the judge isn’t it ?

    No, not exactly. Judges can only hand down sentences within guidelines set by the law. I assume you can be imprisoned for dangerous driving otherwise I assume the judge wouldn’t have said he considered if it was appropriate. They also then take into account other factors including previous convictions and likelihood to reoffend and stuff that we don’t know that has been reported as his ‘particular difficulties’ but it’s not a free for all as some seem to assume.

    I don’t disagree that ‘only one prior conviction’ isn’t a great past history, all I’ll say is that in the light of ALL the evidence and information a professional judge with full knowledge of the law and experience made a judgement. I really recommend to read the book in the link and see what this really means.

    I was also commenting on the decision to go for an easy DD conviction vs an assault with a 1.5 ton car – which is probably where the anger really should be directed but again for different reasons than ‘soft’ judges and courts.

    Klunk
    Member

    Using a 1.5T lump hammer to hit someone needs upgrading in law to a much higher levelof crime , assult with a deadly weapon is what it is .

    I find it odd that torching a building for the insurance and it ends in the death of someone though not the intention of those who set the fire always results in a murder charge. Drive a vehicle at someone with intent to injure and for all intents and purposes nothing. People are going to start taking the law into their own hands if they are no longer going to get justice from the courts. As always on these threads we have less rights and protection on the road than a dog.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
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    Why did they have to mention how much the bike was he was riding??

    Just to help with the could have bought a car for that kind of people.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    I don’t disagree that ‘only one prior conviction’ isn’t a great past history

    My point is that in the eyes, and words, of the judge that prior conviction was for “nothing serious”. That is an apologist for shit driving and is the single worst part of this case IMO.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    I don’t disagree that his driving in the context of this case was horrific, driven by who knows what but assume anger / revenge.

    But arguing that his previous was not for ‘anything serious’ – how do you know what it was for? All the report says is driving without due care and attention. Could have been driving while eating or drinking? We don’t know… the judge did.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    I don’t care about the details – driving a vehicle without due regard for the safety of other road/pavement users is serious

    … and having seen the level of sheer idiocy that has to be shown to secure even a DCA conviction suggests that he did something more than that

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    “I don’t care about the details” makes me glad you are not a judge!

    Absolutely agree that deliberately driving at someone in a vehicle is not a driving offence, it’s assault. The law/guidance/sentencing needs changing to reflect that.

    bigyan
    Member

    Deciding to turn a car around and drive it into a person is different to dangerous/careless driving, it is a conscious decision to try and kill or seriously harm. (though I am sure the defence is no intention to cause harm, just an irrational action in the heat of the moment, would not normally happen, tired, provoked etc)

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    I don’t care about the details

    OK no point in arguing against that level of logic. Read the book it’s a huge eye opener.

    Deciding to turn a car around and drive it into a person is different to dangerous/careless driving, it is a conscious decision to try and kill or seriously harm. (though I am sure the defence is no intention to cause harm, just an irrational action in the heat of the moment, would not normally happen, tired, provoked etc)

    I don’t disagree but the anger is misdirected….again read the book and understand why our system is so broke that we should be thankful he got prosecuted to the extent he did.

    tpbiker
    Member

    I still struggle to see how you can be excused for serving time if it causes you ‘difficulty’. If I went to prison I’d lose my job, probably my house, my friends would be disgusted by me, I’d have to rehome my pets. Most folks with kids would suffer even worse.

    Isn’t the point of prison that it’s meant to be a deterrent? Surely the consequences for crimes shouldn’t be dictated by personal circumstances. And if the guy has serious mental health issues which is perhaps the reason the judge spared him from doing time, should he really be allowed to ever get behind the wheel of a car again?

    Premier Icon dudeofdoom
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    Oh well always good to remember just how unprotected a cyclist is by the law of this fine country.

    Not really getting how deliberately turning around an using your car as a weapon is deemed so low a punishment but a cyclist hitting and killing by accident a pedestrian gets you 18 months in jail time.

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    Might be within sentence guidelines but I fully agree with those pointing out the need for a review of road offences to include deliberate assault with a vehicle.

    Intentions don’t seem to come into the frame enough with the present system, unfortunately.

    Nobber shouldn’t be driving again if he’s gonna continue to be a menace in this way. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    OK no point in arguing against that level of logic. Read the book it’s a huge eye opener.

    I’ll listen; educate me – what level of driving without due care & attention that would result in a successful prosecution could be construed as trivial ?

    … and in the case of this driver, prior to doubling back and running this cyclist down, he had just been called out for – yeah, driving without due care & attention

    I know the MP’s are a tad busy right now, but could some more literate than me care to pen a strongly worded letter so at least this can be debated in the house
    Although some doddery old **** will derail it, like the upskirting law as they want some medja expsure and to be seen represnting their constituants
    Then we could do a CTRLC and forward it to out duly elelcted political representitive, maybe

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    I’ll listen; educate me – what level of driving without due care & attention that would result in a successful prosecution could be construed as trivial ?

    https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/legal/driving-without-due-care-and-attention

    There’s no standard list of behaviours or poor manoeuvres but any minor breach of the Highway Code could be considered to be an offence:

    • Tailgating
    • Not giving way at a junction
    • Overtaking and forcing your way into a queue of traffic
    • Using the wrong lane at a roundabout
    • Ignoring a lane closed sign and forcing your way into an orderly queue
    • Lane hogging
    • Inappropriate speed
    • Overtaking on the inside
    • Wheel spins
    • Hand brake turns
    • Operating a satnav or reading a map while driving
    • Eating or drinking at the wheel
    • Lane hopping or weaving
    • Overtaking and causing an approaching vehicle or overtaken vehicle to brake
    • Smoking and driving

    Look, I suspect if he had a ban previously for a careless driving offence it was either a more serious one of the type of the above, or a totting up. But the fact is WE DON’T KNOW – and a prior conviction for eating at the wheel on top of some FPN is conceivably (in the opinion of the judge) ‘not serious’ in the context of the offence this time.

    eg: he’s pleaded guilty to the offence he’s been charged with, has he done anything similar before?

    No, but he did get a previous careless driving conviction for drinking a cup of coffee while driving that led to a ban under totting up.

    (conjecture – again, we don’t know……but would you consider that as materially important to judging his behaviour this time?)

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    but would you consider that as materially important to judging his behaviour this time?

    You seem to be having your cake and eating it here – for our “broken” legal system to even prosecute, let alone convict, would suggest that his behaviour was probably some way along the ranking

    And if I was the judge well, I’d infer that he has previously demonstrated a disregard for the “normal” standards of safe behaviour required of all drivers and would look pretty unfavourably upon what was reported to be a repeat of this behaviour, followed by some of the most dangerous behaviour a driver could display

    Premier Icon dissonance
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    but would you consider that as materially important to judging his behaviour this time?

    I would tend to consider the previous case as probably irrelevant (although it is possible he was using his car as a weapon then but managed to get it downgraded).
    I wouldnt see this as a driving offence.
    Some moron doing a close pass because they are annoyed at being behind and hitting a cyclist is dangerous driving. The moron turning around and then hitting them is an assault and a dangerous one.
    The “joke” of “if you want to kill someone do it in a car” seems increasingly true.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    You seem to be having your cake and eating it here – for our “broken” legal system to even prosecute, let alone convict, would suggest that his behaviour was probably some way along the ranking

    No! Read the book. CPS are increasingly being measured against # cases and % successful prosecutions… and an easy careless driving shows on the numbers just the same.

    would look pretty unfavourably upon what was reported to be a repeat of this behaviour

    I see what you’re saying but in the context of the higher charge of dangerous driving and leaving the scene, the careless driving of having his head down, which would be very difficult to prove is probably just adding complexity – again undesirable when an easy and quick admission of dangerous driving is on the cards. Job done, box ticked, move on to another case on the massive list.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    an easy careless driving

    To be banned he’d either have to have committed a single offence involving “higher culpability and greater harm” or else cumulative multiple point-scoring with an eventual offence that was actually prosecuted

    In either case, in my opinion, he shouldn’t get an easy ride this time around

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    I know. The point is we don’t have that information, the judge did, and handed down the sentence he did.

    As I said at my first post, I don’t know if the judge was right or not, but nor does anyone else based on the reporting so to claim the sentencing is wrong/ridiculous, is itself wrong.

    I too would like these sorts of things to be prosecuted to a higher offence, I’m not arguing against that. I’m just saying that there are reasons beyond lawyers and judges why they aren’t and your anger should be directed there.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    I know that I’m not the only poster you’re talking to on here but

    I’m not actually suggesting that he should have been jailed (though in my view a higher charge should have been applied – jesus, compare him to that little fakenger **** who ran into a pedestrian in terms of culpability)

    My major complaint in this case is a judge making a statement (presumably in summing up or whatever they do) that a prior conviction for careless driving is “not serious”
    The judiciary needs to be better informed about the risks of “simple carelessness” (maybe force them to cycle to work one week per year) and more importantly the danger of trotting out that glib, complacent crap without thinking of the message they’re delivering

    poly
    Member

    My major complaint in this case is a judge making a statement (presumably in summing up or whatever they do) that a prior conviction for careless driving is “not serious”
    The judiciary needs to be better informed about the risks of “simple carelessness” (maybe force them to cycle to work one week per year) and more importantly the danger of trotting out that glib, complacent crap without thinking of the message they’re delivering

    He may have said that, but it’s a press report so it may well have been part of a much longer statement that would fit with the facts before him! Notice it is not actually in “quotes” in the article. It is not uncommon for judges to refer to whether someone has previously spent time in jail when deciding if today’s offence merits it. The crown, who will actually have heard every word the judge said, and seen all the papers the judge did have the right of appeal if the sentence was unduly lenient. The judge will have guidelines to follow on when sentence should be suspended. Really a wider range of community punishments is probably what the system needs.

    He might even agree with most people here that he should have been charged with a totally different offence – but saying that on the bench exposes his sentence to possible appeal (on the basis he was effectively sentencing for assault not driving).

    Premier Icon calv145
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    The law just seems strange to me. If someone robs my house and I chase them down the road and batter them, I’m in serious grief with the law as it wasn’t self defence if I chase them. Apparently if another road user upsets me, I can deliberately turn around and do this with my car for no more than a slap on the wrist. The law needs seriously looking at in regard to driving and the sentences that can be delivered. It does seem true, if you want to kill someone, do it in a car and you will almost definitely get away with it, especially if said person is on a bike.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    for no more than a slap on the wrist

    Not exactly, a prison sentence, albeit suspended but step out of line and he can be immediately imprisoned.

    80 hours community service

    18mo driving ban

    Had his car confiscated as having been used in the commission of a crime

    It is I agree not what we would want to see but when the crime being prosecuted is dangerous driving then as said the judge has only a certain latitude in sentencing.

    The law needs seriously looking at in regard to driving and the sentences that can be delivered.

    At the risk of saying the same again (but a succession of posters are saying the same so I’ll repeat)
    I don’t disagree, BUT you really need to read the book above to understand why actually it is not really the fault of ‘the law’ or that the law needs looking into. He could very easily have been prosecuted for a higher offence under existing laws, but because of factors, decisions of expediency rather than doing the right thing will have lead to the choice of charge.

    And yes, I’m also acutely aware of the Alliston (fakenger) / Griggs case and the subsequent clamour to bring in new laws to cover that situation, but that has been driven by politicians who will have seen it as a chance to get votes because a lot of their voter populace see cyclists as a menace. The problem is politicians doing what politicians do, not lawyers or judges or the law itself.

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