Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - FastShow
LONDON (AP) ---- An off-duty policeman who was caught riding his motorcycle at more than 125 mph on a highway was jailed Tuesday for three months.

Thomas Cunningham, 37, was speeding toward Liveral in northern England when spotted by a police patrol car last July. The car followed Cunningham at speeds of more than 125 mph. The speed limit was 70 mph.

Cunningham was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday of dangerous driving and jailed. He also was banned from driving for three years, meaning it could be difficult for him to do his job if he returns to work as a policeman.


To me the sentence is just downright offensive when we have people commiting crimes that actually have victims getting away with community service or, in a lot of cases, a whole lot less. Even the WWTBAM guy who tried to steal a million quid the other day got away with an 18 month suspended sentence!

Fair enough he should have lost his licence, there's little doubt about that, but jail!? Madness, IMHO.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - DavidHM
Unfortunately it looks legally impeccable.

The starting point for dangerous driving, believe it or not, is "Are magistrates' sentencing powers appropriate?" (Six months' prison maximum).

Mitigating factors (not exhaustive) are an emergency, a single incident, speed not excessive.

Aggravating factors (not exhaustive) are avoiding detection or apprhension, racing/showing off, disregard of warnings, evidence of alcohol or drugs, excessive speed, prolonged/deliberate bad driving, serious risk, using a mobile

Co-operation with police, voluntary compensation and evidence of genuine remorse will also reduce the sentence. Oh, and the guideline sentencing for speeding only goes up to 110mph. Oddly, speeding on a motorway is considered more serious than elsewhere (even though they're the safest roads...)
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - dave18
Absolutely ridiculous sentence.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - Andrew-T
Perhaps one of the considerations was that a policeman should have known better, and that when off-duty he is expected to obey the same rules as anyone else (unless he was trying to make a citizen's arrest I suppose). And it is a waste of time trying to compare sentences between crimes of quite different characters.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - Roland Rat
>>An off-duty policeman who was caught riding his motorcycle at >>more than 125 mph on a highway was jailed Tuesday for three >>months.

Seems fair enough to me. Not only was he risking his won life, but he was risking the life of everybody on the M53 that day. If you're hit by a motorbike doing over 125mph, chances are that you will seriously injured, especially if the bike hits your offside. And the fact that he is a copper further compounds things. He really should have known better and as far as I am concerned deserves everything he got.

I do agree, though, that sentences across the whole criminal justice system are wonderfully inconsistent. But the message has to be put across that this type of wilful disregard for human life will not be tolerated.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - Obsolete
So Harriet Harman, then solictor general, was doing 99mph. Keeps her job. No ban. Fined. Plod doing 125 mph gets 3 months jail and ban. Mmmmm.

If does look a tad as if the 'unimportant' plod with few contacts is being treated differently from HH. Was plod a traffic cop? If so then at least he was trained to deal with high speed, unlike HH. Still not good public relations though is it. He's a bit of a plonker if you ask me.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - Tomo.
I would far rather be hit by the bike than the following car.

Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - eMBe {P}
A policeman should know better. He deserved to be jailed. He was a danger to the public. At under 100mph, he might have been treated a little less harshly - although as a custodian of the law, he might still not have escaped with a much lighter sentence at 99mph.
Even the WWTBAM guy who tried to steal a million quid the other day got away with an 18 month suspended sentence! <<

Their crime was "white-collar" and a crime unlikely to be ever repeated even if they wanted to. Jailing them would be pointless as they were not a threat in the slightest to society.

Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - dave18
Thats a very harsh line to take.
It wasn't a crime of dishonesty or violence. Jail was excessive, full stop. A ban would suffice. Ive nudged 125 once, it was a one off, the motorway was deserted to be fair. People do many things far more dangerous than excessive speeding and they go undetected. The law seems to be far too focused on the subject.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - puntoo
the bbc programme on the other week had a guy doing 150 odd on a motorbike, who got away with a fine and ban. Cant understand why in this case he was sent to prison.

Maybe he is being sent down as an example.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - Stargazer {P}
I think the point is being missed somewhere, the jail sentence was largely for dangerous driving NOT speeding, in the case a few weeks ago where the motor cyclist was done for speeding the policeman explicitly stated that he had not been guilty of dangerous driving (no undertaking etc) to compound the speeding ticket.


Ian L.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - BigBoab
Seems fair to me particularly as he had been charged with 'dangerous driving'. His riding style must have been giving cause for concern for him to be charged with that offence. 125 mph is nearly twice the legal speed limit. At that speed, if something happens, you'll be 100 metres down the road before you start to react to the situation.

Speed limits and driving standards are there for a reason. If you don't think twice about ignoring them, then you don't deserve to be on the road.

BTW, was the bike confiscated without compensation?
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - joe
This guy was obviously made an example of because of his job.

I do not see any posts on this thread from the "plod always gets away with it" brigade.

Jail should be reserved for the most serious crimes. this is a serious offence, but is not in any way comparable with crimes of violence. I got headbutted in the face once bu a bloke who thought i was looking at him "in a funny way". He got fined £200. I got £50 compensation. In this context, 3 months for speeding seems way over the top.

I would not be surprised if the policeman succesfully appeals against his sentence.

Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - dave18
A friend of mine got headbutted in Warrington by the ring leader of a load of 'townies' who hung around Spar. He was quite seriously hurt - broken nose and concussion, had to be taken to hospital at some point after the initial visit. He got £1000 compensation, to be paid bit by bit. For speeding to be viewed as a worse crime 9apparently suggested by the sentence) then the circumstances would have had to have concerned near suicidal stupidity.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - DavidHM
There is the possibility that this guy sped up to avoid his 'colleagues' or in someway did something more than a textbook drive, just faster. If he was undertaking, driving through gaps, or involved with heavy traffic, then the sentence is harsh but, given the speed involved, broadly fair.

I don't believe that 125 mph on a motorway is inherently dangerous driving - and if you disagree, ask yourself why police drivers can legitimately go that fast in responding to an incident. The closing speed means that blues and twos provide little warning either.

However, there is the possibility that CPS/magistrates felt that the speed was inherently dangerous, in which case, sure, the sentence is harsh. However, that has more to do with the way the case has been prosecuted than the actual sentencing process.
Speeder Jailed for 3 Months - eMBe {P}
Below are quotes from official sentencing guidelines:

Current: "?Dangerous driving? encompasses a range of behaviour from an isolated lapse of attention to prolonged and deliberate driving with disregard for the safety of other road users. Cases at the more serious end of the scale come close to the offence of manslaughter, for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. At the lower end, there may be little to distinguish a case of causing death by dangerous driving from one of careless driving which has in fact resulted in death. Careless driving is a non-imprisonable, summary offence, with a maximum penalty of a level 4 fine (currently £2,500). Disqualification is discretionary, and the offence carries 3 to 9 penalty points."

Proposed: "the Government published its report on the Review of Road Traffic Penalties, in which it was confirmed that the maximum penalty for dangerous driving would be increased to 5 years, as proposed in the 2000 consultation paper. The Government also announced in its report that the maximum sentence for each of the three driving offences occasioning death (causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, and causing death by aggravated vehicle taking) would be increased to 14 years."

So, motorists, be careful. You can be jailed for 5 years for dangerous driving.


Value my car