British justice - Julian
This country is really going towards third world status.

I refer to two articles in the press today, one about an 18 year old, with lots of previous history, knocking down and killing a 14 yr old cyclist - Result £200 fine at £5 a week.

Nutter, driving at 150+ on a dual carrigeway, no one killed, gets a prision sentence.

Can someone please explain this to me?
British justice - Soupytwist
According to the radio report I heard, the nutter doing 150 mph was not only convicted of speeding, he was convicted of driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and perhaps more. This was also not his first offence.

His conviction was also reportedly applauded by several "motoring organisations" although which ones was not mentioned.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
British justice - DavidHM
I find it surprising that someone who killed a cyclist only got a £200 fine. I guess we don't know the facts and it could be that the cyclist was mostly to blame for the accident and came off worse, but of course a better driver could/should have avoided it. Just because someone has a long negative history, doesn't mean they are guilty *this* time, although magistrates rightly take that into account someone's record when sentencing.
British justice - Altea Ego
Had the 14 year old cylist been on the 40mph road when "Nutter" appeared at 120 he would be dead. And nutter was a disqual driver. And nutter was unisured.
British justice - Julian
Oh I forgot to mention, pervious history man was also not insured or even licenced to drive.

I believe that 150 mph man should be locked up for complete disregard for others, but how can the same system only give a fine to a motorist(I use that word loosely) who caused a death?
British justice - volvoman
It's dangerous to compare these cases without full knowledge of the facts. However, I strongly believe that the concept of British justice for all ceased to be valid a long time ago.

If you want justice in this country it seems you need to be a minority of some sort or a habitual criminal. The people with most to fear here are not the low life (like the drivers mentioned above), they're the honest, decent, hardworking people (a reducing majority) who try their best to abide by the rules, pay their taxes, dare to protect themselves or their property and/or have assets which they can be deprived of. Fall into any one of the above categories and you will find there is very little justice left in this country ! For the rest there is ample justice funded largely by the taxpayer.
British justice - frostbite
Sometimes you get justice but mostly you just get law.
British justice - Rojer
The British justice system is largely based on the luck of the draw. Strange isn't it? .. life.

If you come out of Asda with a lettuce that's a bit manky you get your money back straight away and perhaps a voucher or two and maybe even a free lettuce on top.

You kill someone, or you drive at 100mph+ and you might get anything, or nothing.
Astra, Renault 18, Renault 25 TXi, Astra Est, Passat Est, Mercedes 190E, Mercedes
British justice - doug_523i
If you drive without a licence, or banned, then you shouldn't be driving so a soft motoring charge shouldn't be an option, it's manslaughter.
British justice - DavidHM
Actually read in the Metro that the CPS felt that death by dangerous driving wouldn't stick because the victim was wearing dark clothes and might not have been seen by a sensible driver. Well, maybe, but the guy was driving on the wrong side of the road at 60 in a 30 limit and I'm not convinced.

I disagree that, because you're breaking one law (insurance/licence) your actions should be assessed as manslaughter - it has to be assessed on a case by case basis. If all his papers had been in order, his driving style would have been no less (or more) idiotic and dangerous and the appropriate charge is driving related unless, possibly, there was another crime involved as well.

I think I'm about the last person to jump on the hang 'em and flog 'em bandwagon but in this case I do think they should have pushed a lot harder for a stronger conviction and penalty than they did.
British justice - Flat in Fifth
"Actually read in the Metro that the CPS felt that death by dangerous driving wouldn't stick because the victim was wearing dark clothes and might not have been seen by a sensible driver."

Just for info, no further comment on this sad case.

Young lad was wearing dark clothing, riding a bike with no lights front or rear.
British justice - Pugugly {P}
Sorry David - I must disagree. The very fact that someone drives a car whilst knowingly uninsured (as opposed to a more techinical, ignorance or mistaken belief - still an offence all the same) or disqualified, intoxicated by any substance is an aggrivating factor that should be considered as a state of mind. That is if you are reckless enoughto get into a car in any of the above conditions and subsequently kill someone that reckless act must be weighed in the scales of justice.

Without knowing the full facts in this case - thus making it dangerous to comment - I would say that the penalty was proportionate. I speak as one who has been involved in an accident with a pedestrian, there was probably an element of blame on me - had I been going a mite slower or had I been totally concentrating on the road conditions and not listening to the radio or talking to my passanger or thinking about something else the accident might not have happened if I'd have reacted a nanosecond quicker.

The geezer doing 156 mph deserved the sentence he got. But are you going to argue that the lad (repported in today's local rag) who had a 250 fine and a three month ban for 128 mph on a bike was let off lightly, his docs were in order by the way.
British justice - DavidHM
I absolutely agree that it's an aggravating factor when it comes to sentencing, but it doesn't of itself make it manslaughter. If the offence charged is as serious as (death by) dangerous driving then the actus reus goes beyond secondary factors such as insurance, etc. and should be based upon what actually happened (or didn't).

I am genuinely bewildered as to why the CPS didn't go for causing death by dangerous driving in this case. I don't know if you think my interpretation of the facts is too lenient or too strict - probably the punishment is appropriate for the offence charged - but in any case I believe that the CPS should go for the strongest possible offence and that sentencing should reflect what actually happened as well as previous offences. Between lawyers, I guess this is relatively uncontroversial.

And no, I do think that a first offence of 128 mph with documents in order is an order of magnitude below driving whilie disqualified, with no insurance, at 156 mph, partly because the average traffic police car is flat out at ~140mph. My gut feeling (without turning to Jordans) is that the penalty is about right.
British justice - Pugugly {P}
I still disagree....what I am trying to say here is that by the very fact that someone chooses to step behind the wheel of a car
whilst knowingly commiting other offences shows a recklessness to the safety of others and I would argue starts to build a case
towards some form of homicide case rather than a simple motoring case. The much discussed example of the Land Rover v train crash
case demonstrates that this is the way the Couts are starting to think.

Certain CPS solicitors will not risk losing a weak case when they can plead one down a notch or two - this practice is supposed to be tailing off now with the "Auld" cases....but a wiley brief can still get a deal for his client.
British justice - eMBe {P}
This country is really going towards third world status.>>

Julian, that is an insult to 3rd world countries. I have often spent weeks/months in many such countries - and I can tell you that more often than not anyone caught at the scene is likely to get beaten to near death or actual death. If they escape or do a "hit-and-run", and are caught later, they are still likely to get beaten up in custody and get a very tough sentence. You see, these 3rd world countries do not have to worry about the "Human Rights Act" nor do they have "Legal-Aid" solicitors to fight on behalf of the criminals.

What you probably meant was that British Justice is the best in the world. Innocent until proven guilty, and then lenient sentencing as there are not enough jails.
British justice - DavidHM
Yes, defence lawyers fight on behalf of the criminals. All I would say to that is that by definition, if lawyers aren't allowed to fight on behalf of the criminals, they're not allowed to fight on behalf of the innocent either as being found guilty means being deprived of some of your rights. (Not all of them, of course - no one should be an outlaw).

I know it's unlikely that you (or I) will ever be accused of a crime we haven't committed as presumably educated white middle class males, but if the right to have a lawyer or anyone else defend you is taken away from anyone then it could happen. The measure of how fair and free a society is, is not how it protects the strong and popular (i.e., us) but how it protects the weak - and prevents the abuses that can be served on the margins to those we don't like)

If we didn't erect barriers to make it difficult to prove that someone is guilty of any offence, they could extend the treatment to you. They might not bother, of course, but ignoring the rights of the guilty is morally and practically the same as ignoring those of the innocent.
British justice - eMBe {P}
Yes, defence lawyers fight on behalf of the criminals. All
...... ....... .....
same as ignoring those of the innocent.


DavidHM: So you agree with what I said. British Justice is the best in the world. By your definition, and mine, it is the 3rd world (and many 2nd & 1st world countries too)that needs to bring up their standards to those in the UK. I have travelled extensively in the world and I can honestly say that I feel the safest in the UK and which is why I prefer to remain here. (Eg. You only need to meet one corrupt policeman abroad to realise the excellence our Police Force.) My description of the instant justice meted out abroad was intended to allow people that allthough our systems here may not always be perfect, they are far better than those in 3rd world countries.
British justice - DavidHM
I do agree. Sorry, I'm so used to Daily Mail letter writers using those terms sarcastically that I'm not used to those sentiments being expressed sincerely. (Especially in the wee small hours when I've just got back from a party with an open bar)
British justice - volvoman
BTW - Whilst I feel that justice here is limited I do agree it's still better than in many paces. Whilst travelling and working abroad I discovered that there appeared to be one law for foreigners and another for everyone else in most countries. In Tunisia for example we were routinely stopped by the police for non-existant motoring offences, left in the middle of nowhere and then expected to make our own way back to base (often many miles away) to get the money to pay the fine and collect the vehicles from wherever the police decided they wanted to dump them, if indeed they'd agree to tell us!

In Abu Dhabi the police just locked up 2 geophysicist colleagues of mine, no questions asked. Apparently the papers they were provided with by the authorities there weren't correct (how would we know that ?) and it was deemed to be their fault automatically. Fines levied, fines paid, no documentation/records, our friends released after a night in a hell hole ! No, British justice is far from being the worst but it isn't getting any better I'm afraid !
British justice - volvoman
Trouble is there seem to be more and more circumstances in which the system is applied in reverse - guilty until proven innocent ! In such cases, the accusers benefits from the full protection of the law whilst the innocent 'accused' either gets wrongly banged up or suffers in public before being cleared and left to live with the mud still clinging on and their lives/careers in tatters.
British justice - Mark (RLBS)
Lets try and keep it motoring related please.
British justice - Pugugly {P}
Yes, defence lawyers fight on behalf of the criminals. All
...... ....... .....
same as ignoring those of the innocent.

The whole basis of my professional life.....I always assume innocence,next week it could be me speaking to a brief when my cloned car was clocked somewhere doing something serious....! Sometimes you know that someone's innocent or not, sometimes its a definate maybe and sometimes is a definate no. Basically whilst not wishing to sound idealistic I still believe in does happen that the guilty are rightly convicted and the innocent get found so. But the basis of any just system is that now and again the guilty will be found not guilty - what disturbs me is wehn the innocent are convicted, now that's a sign of a bad system of justice.
British justice - OldOiler
Case in point is the Congestion Charge and cloned number plates - how does a inocent party prove it - the state should have to prove it - other than a "simple" photo.

More instances of the original British justice + the work of some do gooders will only give support to the BNF.

Come on you legal beagal's get it sorted before its too late.
British justice - GrumpyOldGit
Back to what this thread is about.

Both 157mph speeder and cyclist killer were banned drivers, so both were uninsured. How can speeding, even at that high a figure, attract a harsher sentence than killing someone?

The facts are now public knowledge.

The speeder was driving at a crazy speed but did not collide with anything or cause anything other than fear in other road users.

The killer was doing an estimated 60 mph in Wareham, dodging a line of cars at night. He hit and killed a 15 year old lad on a bike. The bike had no lights. Seems to me that a reasonable driver would have been driving at the speed limit, or lower if there was a line of cars, so had a collision occured the rider may well have not been killed.

The driver is 18, had never taken a test, has long history of driving offences, owe some £1,400 in fines which are being paid at £15 per week. He bought the car, a Vectra I believe, on the day he killed the lad. The £200 for this offence is added to his account. He shows no remorse. His reaction is that he was unlucky to be caught. He is a scumbag of the worst kind and should have been jailed.

Judges are often this unbelievably stupid. There is a crackdown on speeding at the cost of all other offences at the moment simply because speeding fines generate huge profit.

After the trial the young lads Mother said '£200 is about half of what I pay to insure my car.'
British justice - Wooster
Oh wow - this really is a 'hobby horse' of mine. If you walk down the pavement with a loaded shotgun, fire it by mistake and kill someone, you'd be sent to prison for manslaughter. Maybe only 10 years (let out in 5 years etc), but most people would think some sort of justice had been carried out. Get into a car, kill someone by mistake, and get a £200 fine - or whatever. The shotgun and the car are both lethal instruments. But the UK justice system says the primary reason for the gun is to kill. So if you walk around with it, and someone gets killed, it is your fault. You'll get sent to prison. The car is not (primarily) a killing machine, so if you do kill someone, it is not your fault. (Unless - of course - you ram a police car at 80 mph and kill two policemen. Then you'll get sent to prison.) I think is terrible that the UK has to have an organisation called Road Peace - who fight for justice for people who get killed on our roads. I could go on....
British justice - PLS
Last year in Gainsborough a driver high on drugs crashed into a bus shelter killing two OAPs and maiming several more in the ensuing bloodbath. He left his car on its roof with his partner's two tiny children hanging upside down from their seat belts (thank heaven for small mercies)and fled the scene. He was a disqualified driver and of course had no insurance. At court he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 5 years of which he will serve considerably less if he behaves himself.

Value my car