Consistency in the Judiciary?

Case 1. Cyclist strikes and injures a young girl on a crossing. Cyclist completely at fault compounds matters by leaving the scene [handed himself in the next day]. Cyclist recieves a custodial sentence. I do not have a problem with this in any way.

Case 2. Mr Gunn (Maida Vale) is returning home from walking his dogs. As he reaches the centre of a zebra crossing he is struck and thrown across the road by a car driven by Mr Rashid (Kensal Rise) in broad daylight. Mr Gunn sadly died of his injuries the next day. Mr Rashid cannot read a number plate without glasses at a distance of 3m. You guessed it; Mr Rashid had lost his glasses and so was driving without them even though he knew he needed them. Highway code rule 92 - You MUST be able to read a number plate at 20m and if you need glasses to reach this minimum standard you MUST wear them at all times that you are driving. [Please note it is MUST not SHOULD]

Mr Rashid is sentenced to 140 hours unpaid work and £500 costs. The Judge decided that he had commited no offence with regard to Rule 92.

Is it me?!?

This post was edited by Levermonkey at 1:21pm 25 January 2014.

Replies

Too many cases like this :-(

I can only assume this country's authorities have a vested interest in the motoring and oil industry who are prepared to prioritise it at any cost.

No, its not you, I think the case should be referred. There have been a lot of inexplicably lenient sentences for drivers colliding with pedestrians and cyclists. Even more so if the victim is over a certain age. Disturbing trend.

  • By dickyr at 8:41pm 17 January 2014
Rule 92 is not a legal rule but advice. Breach of it may constitute evidence of Careless Driving under the Road Traffic Act but it is not an offence in its own right. I guess what may have happened here (& it's hard to tell without details of the offence) is that in the absence of a Careless Cycling offence (this is reserved for motor vehicles and Wanton and Furious Cycling requires good evidence of recklessness rather than carelessness) the CPS may have opted to prosecute for an offence against the person of some sort such as ABH. This is more likely to carry a custodial sentence, especially if exacerbated by a perceived initial action that looked like an attempt to evade justice or pervert the course of justice. You shouldn't underestimate the effects of some of our fellow cyclists on the perceptions and prejudices of the judiciary or jury. For every pedestrian we cyclists (and don't forget we all cop the blame as 'bloody cyclists' in the way that drivers don't - for them we introduce subsections to castigate such as 'white van man', lorry drivers, 'shed draggers', Porsche drivers, women driver, old people driving.....) carve up on a pavement or push through on a pedex or dive across a red light in front of, there is a chance they may hold onto their resentment until they may sit in judgement on one of us. As I say, just a thought.

The Highway Code rule 92 is based on the following:-

Road Traffic Act 1988 section 96

The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999 regulation 40 & schedule 8

These are Statutory Instruments. Rule 92 therefore is NOT advice.

Mr Rashid was found guilty of Death by Careless Driving because the Judge decided that knowingly failing to obey these laws for a year was not reckless. I fail to see how!

My argument is not about law but justice which are two different things.

  • By dickyr at 1:21pm 25 January 2014

I stand corrected. It seems to be an offence under s96 RTA '88 but that would not be charged if he had also been charged with Death by Dangerous with eyesight being the key factor.

As regards the justice of the situation, I obviously agree that it seems bizarre. My point still stands about the view of courts towards someone who seeks to evade their responsibility under the law.

Collisions seem to be treated as mere accidents if there is a car involved (there but for the grace of god...) whereas cyclists seem to be viewed as an accident waiting to happen.

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