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Results: What do you think of the driver's sentence?

It was too lenient

79.71% • 55 votes

It was about right

15.94% • 11 votes

It was too harsh

4.35% • 3 votes

You may not vote on this poll

69 votes in total.

  • FIRST POST
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 21st Jun 16, 7:54 PM
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    esuhl
    Driver hits cyclist, left for dead. Let off in court.
    • #1
    • 21st Jun 16, 7:54 PM
    Driver hits cyclist, left for dead. Let off in court. 21st Jun 16 at 7:54 PM
    I just saw this depressing news article in which a driver hit a cyclist, left him for dead (conveniently avoiding the breathalyser)... and was let off with a suspended sentence, 85 fine, 4-month curfew, and a 20-month driving ban.

    So... other than having a few early nights, he's basically been let off. By sheer luck, the cyclist survived with serious injuries.

    Is it just me, or does this seem unduly lenient?

    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/driver-given-12-week-suspended-11499988
Page 3
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 3rd Aug 16, 12:29 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    But clearly a decision was taken by the police/CPS based on the available evidence to prosecute for speeding and not for Dangerous Driving. Accordingly he was sentenced for the offence he pleaded guilty to.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    The sentence was a very lenient one for speeding - a 56 day ban is as far as the magistrates guidelines go for up to 110 mph but it's not a limit on the sentence and they could have given a longer ban. I don't know why they weren't charged for dangerous driving either as is normal for that sort of speed nor seen any explanation how their ban was so lenient.

    John
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 3rd Aug 16, 4:17 PM
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    esuhl
    But clearly a decision was taken by the police/CPS based on the available evidence to prosecute for speeding and not for Dangerous Driving. Accordingly he was sentenced for the offence he pleaded guilty to.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    And you're fine with that? In my opinion, someone caught driving at 154mph should receive a harsher punishment than a 56 day ban.

    He should have had his car taken off him, a 5,000 fine, and a 5-year ban. And have to attend a driver awareness program and pass an advanced driving test to get his licence back.
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 3rd Aug 16, 4:28 PM
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    Johno100
    He should have had his car taken off him, a 5,000 fine, and a 5-year ban. And have to attend a driver awareness program and pass an advanced driving test to get his licence back.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    In you and those shroud waving idiots at Brake's wet dream perhaps.

    But back in the real world those were not options available to the magistrates who dealt with the case that was brought in front of them.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 3rd Aug 16, 5:26 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    I'd be curious to know why he wasn't charged with dangerous driving which is normal for such excessive speeds on their own without any other factors. The low sentence for the speeding seems odd as well even though the options were reduced, they could still have given a longer ban although it's hard to find cases at that speed where it was purely speeding they were being charged for.

    John
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 3rd Aug 16, 9:26 PM
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    lincroft1710
    I understand that there has to be an element of deliberate intent to endanger life or extreme recklessness, otherwise it was careless driving or driving without due care and attention. Seem to remember reading that with DD it was difficult to obtain a conviction, hence the lower offence.

    It's quite possible that CPS know that with DD they will get a not guilty plea, but a lesser offence will be met with a guilty plea and thus easier to deal with in court.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 03-08-2016 at 9:34 PM.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 3rd Aug 16, 10:37 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    I understand that there has to be an element of deliberate intent to endanger life or extreme recklessness, otherwise it was careless driving or driving without due care and attention. Seem to remember reading that with DD it was difficult to obtain a conviction, hence the lower offence.

    It's quite possible that CPS know that with DD they will get a not guilty plea, but a lesser offence will be met with a guilty plea and thus easier to deal with in court.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Speed on its own on its own is enough for Dangerous Driving if it's high enough, England/Wales and Scotland differ on this as they will go for DD at lower speeds in Scotland:

    Speeding at 155mph (nothing else) - 12 month ban and 180 hours community service:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/2014672.stm

    Speeding at 130mph - 15 month ban and community service:
    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=44058

    When searching through PePiPoo for similar offences to the Seat driver it was difficult to find any at 150mph+ where they didn't go for DD (each of which was successful). Furthermore, even if they did fail to get Dangerous Driving it doesn't stop them going for a lesser offence.

    Also even all that aside, it was a very lenient penalty for speeding.

    John
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 3rd Aug 16, 11:01 PM
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    Johno100
    They did go for a lesser offence - speeding.

    Not sure what you mean by "even if they did fail to get Dangerous Driving"? He was charged with speeding and pleaded guility, by letter, to that offence. He never faced a Dangerous Driving charge.

    You've provided examples of a couple of Dangerous Driving convictions with bans of 12 and 15 months. So how long a ban should, the much lesser charge of speeding, have merited if you were on the bench?
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 4th Aug 16, 12:00 AM
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    Johnmcl7
    They did go for a lesser offence - speeding.

    Not sure what you mean by "even if they did fail to get Dangerous Driving"? He was charged with speeding and pleaded guility, by letter, to that offence. He never faced a Dangerous Driving charge.

    You've provided examples of a couple of Dangerous Driving convictions with bans of 12 and 15 months. So how long a ban should, the much lesser charge of speeding, have merited if you were on the bench?
    Originally posted by Johno100
    Not sure why you're quoting everything of mine out of context, I was fully aware the Seat driver was never charged with dangerous driving which is why I never claimed he was. The person I was replying to suggested the reason the Seat driver wasn't charged with dangerous driving was because they didn't think they could get that to stick and if they didn't, they couldn't then charge with speeding however I was pointing out this isn't the case - if they failed to get Dangerous Driving, they could still go for speeding (which has happened in cases where a Dangerous Driving charge has been applied for excess speeds and failed) therefore that isn't a bar to attempting dangerous driving in the first instance.

    You've repeatedly posted implying you think the ban is an acceptable length for speeding but it doesn't follow the magistrates guidelines - they specify up to a 56 day ban for 110mph but that penality is not a maximum and it's not unusual to see drivers getting three to four month bans for 130-140mph although few cases I'm aware of at 150mph+ are speeding only. Possibly there were reasons why the magistrates were so unusually lenient but so far, we don't them but it is clear it was a very lenient sentence whatever your opinion on the offence.

    Normally I'm the one to explain to people why a penalty is less than what they thought it should be because that was within the guidlelines but in this case the initial charge was lenient and the sentencing extremely lenient. That sort of speed on any public road is exceptionally dangerous and to end up with such a low penalty is really surprising.

    John
    Last edited by Johnmcl7; 04-08-2016 at 12:04 AM.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 4th Aug 16, 7:07 AM
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    unforeseen
    TBH all this conjecture is pointless.

    Unless you know somebody in the CPS/Police who was involved in putting this case together then you will never know the reasons why no DD charge or why the penalty was as it was.
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 4th Aug 16, 12:13 PM
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    Johno100
    Wow. So you think it's fine to drive over 150mph?! What an idiot!

    What makes you think that legislation can never be changed? Why are so willing to see people let off serious offences? Back in the real world, if legislation is not available to appropriately punish offenders, it can be changed so that any future crimes can be dealt with appropriately.

    It may be beyond your intellect, but debating whether a sentence is too lenient can occur regardless of any sentencing guidelines that magistrates must adhere to.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    So introduce those draconian punishments for a speeding offence. What would a conviction for Dangerous Driving warrant - public execution?
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 4th Aug 16, 7:01 PM
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    esuhl
    So introduce those draconian punishments for a speeding offence. What would a conviction for Dangerous Driving warrant - public execution?
    Originally posted by Johno100
    It depends on the specific nature of the offence. I'm shocked that you think it's not that bad to drive at 150+ mph and the driver should only be banned for 56 days. Or is that too harsh, and you'd like him let off scot free?
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 4th Aug 16, 10:55 PM
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    Johno100
    It depends on the specific nature of the offence. I'm shocked that you think it's not that bad to drive at 150+ mph and the driver should only be banned for 56 days. Or is that too harsh, and you'd like him let off scot free?
    Originally posted by esuhl
    I haven't passed comment on the severity of the sentence passed, because I'm not aware of the full circumstances of the offence. More precisely; I'm not aware of what case was presented to the magistrates by the police/CPS.

    However based on the sentencing guidelines for magistrates:-

    http://www.mjpmotoring.co.uk/guidelines-speeding-offences.php

    And in the absence of any "Factors indicating higher culpability" I can see how he received the punishment that he did.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 5th Aug 16, 12:23 AM
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    Johnmcl7
    I haven't passed comment on the severity of the sentence passed, because I'm not aware of the full circumstances of the offence. More precisely; I'm not aware of what case was presented to the magistrates by the police/CPS.

    However based on the sentencing guidelines for magistrates:-

    http://www.mjpmotoring.co.uk/guidelines-speeding-offences.php

    And in the absence of any "Factors indicating higher culpability" I can see how he received the punishment that he did.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    The guidelines are here:

    https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/MCSG_web_-_October_2014.pdf

    Somehow you keep misinterpreting them, the 56 days is not a maximum - that's the guideline for offences around 110mph and magistrates can and should apply longer bans for speeds above that range. This is covered on page 105:

    Some of the individual offence guidelines above include penalty points and/or periods of
    disqualification in the sentence starting points and ranges; however, the court is not precluded from
    sentencing outside the range where the facts justify it
    Given offences of 120mph-130mph usually attract three months bans, I don't know why you keep sticking to the fact that a 56 day ban was reasonable despite the fact it was nearly 50% over the highest speed defined in the guidelines.

    Whatever you believe, a 56 day ban is absolutely not in line with the magistrates guidelines.

    John
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 5th Aug 16, 7:56 AM
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    Johno100
    So you're getting vexed over a possible few months extra ban, OK re-visit the sentence and give him a six month ban, happy then?
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 5th Aug 16, 9:36 PM
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    unforeseen
    This thread now seems to call into competency the Police and CPS for the choice of charges and the case that was put together and presented to the magistrate and also the magistrate for not giving the sentence that they THINK should have been given.

    All without a shred of evidence apart from a reporter's story.

    Makes you wonder why we spend so much on justice when people on these boards believe that they can do a far better job and hand out more draconian sentences than people appointed to the job and with less evidence.

    If they think they are so good why don't they apply to be a magistrate? They can then hang, draw and quarter to their hearts content
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 5th Aug 16, 10:35 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    This thread now seems to call into competency the Police and CPS for the choice of charges and the case that was put together and presented to the magistrate and also the magistrate for not giving the sentence that they THINK should have been given.

    All without a shred of evidence apart from a reporter's story.

    Makes you wonder why we spend so much on justice when people on these boards believe that they can do a far better job and hand out more draconian sentences than people appointed to the job and with less evidence.

    If they think they are so good why don't they apply to be a magistrate? They can then hang, draw and quarter to their hearts content
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    You are incorrect about there being 'not a shred of evidence' , the police force which caught the driver not only posted the details of the offence publicly which were that the driver was caught speeding at 154mph. There are some offences for which the sentencing has a wide range of penalties and can also be very emotive such as death by dangerous driving which can cover a short stint in prison to a very long one and sentencing is based on a wide range of factors the details of which may not be known publicly. In those cases I'm more wary of giving my opinion due to not knowing that information and the effect it has on the penalties. Also, no-one is calling the competency of the police into question - they have done their part correctly, it's after that it's gone wrong and they've also questioned the lenient sentence as well.

    Speeding offences however are much simpler as there's only a single factor for lower culpability which is that it was a genuine emergency however there has been no information including from the police themselves that was was a factor in this case. The only information provided by the police on the sentencing was that they were disappointed by it whereas if there had been a genuine emergency responsible for both the lenient charge and sentencing, you'd have expected them or someone else to have said something because as it is, it doesn't look good for them.

    It's nothing to do with what people think the sentencing should have been, it's based on fact - the guidelines the magistrates use are linked above and you can skip to page 131 for the range of penalties as well as the appendix to understand why those penalties are starting points and not the maximum limits. You can also browse http://forums.pepipoo.com for a wider range of cases - most speeding offences above 150mph are successful with Dangerous Driving which is a minimum 12 month ban and in some cases community hours as well while many lower speeding offences around 120-130mph are three month bans or more.

    I have no interest in dishing out severe penalties, I'm not sure what you see so wrong with a convicted offender receiving a sentence appropriate to the seriousness of the offence within the guidelines defined as such.

    Even putting aside the fact that it was a very lenient sentence by those defined guidelines, I'm surprised that some people have no issue with it and even defend such a weak sentence. I've driven a Seat Cupra on a racetrack as the local one uses them for racing tuition and while they're fast cars, getting them to 154mph needs quite a bit of work and not just an accidental burst of speed. I've also driven cars at high speed on race tracks and even at 'lower' speeds at around 120mph it's still quite alarming how quickly everything happens, how much longer it takes to brake and how minor errors can easily put the car out of control. I can't imagine driving at those sort of speeds on a public road where there's many factors outwith control causing an exceptional level of risk to both the driver and anyone else using the road.

    I'm not a left wing cyclist who wants ridiculous penalties for driving offences, I've enjoyed driving fast cars and would so more if I could afford it but I do it legally and I don't see why some people such as yourself think it unreasonable that someone caught driving at such a speed should receive an appropriate penalty as defined by the laws and guidelines in the UK. I've also provided detailed links which back this up while those, yourself included who have repeatedly questioned the validity have completely failed to provide anything to verify their information.

    John
    Last edited by Johnmcl7; 05-08-2016 at 10:39 PM.
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 5th Aug 16, 11:49 PM
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    Johno100
    You are incorrect about there being 'not a shred of evidence' , the police force which caught the driver not only posted the details of the offence publicly which were that the driver was caught speeding at 154mph.
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    In a Tweet at the time of the incident.

    Was that the drivers maximum speed or his average speed over a measured distance?

    What are the force/NPCC/CPS/manufacturers of the speed measuring equipments guidelines on the accuracy of the particular equipment used at those very high speeds?

    What speed actually appeared on the paperwork that landed in front of the magistrates?

    What allowance if any was made for the drivers guilty plea?

    Also, no-one is calling the competency of the police into question - they have done their part correctly, it's after that it's gone wrong and they've also questioned the lenient sentence as well.
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    Speak for yourself, I'm certainly not ruling that out as a possibility and of course if it was their mistake they are going to do anything they can to deflect the blame onto the magistrates or the CPS.

    Or perhaps they forgot that heat of the moment tweet and the headline "154mph speeder caught" and got caught out when the headline didn't match the charge as brought to court and dealt with by magistrates.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Aug 16, 10:57 AM
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    esuhl
    I haven't passed comment on the severity of the sentence passed, because I'm not aware of the full circumstances of the offence. More precisely; I'm not aware of what case was presented to the magistrates by the police/CPS.

    However based on the sentencing guidelines for magistrates:-

    http://www.mjpmotoring.co.uk/guidelines-speeding-offences.php

    And in the absence of any "Factors indicating higher culpability" I can see how he received the punishment that he did.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    Well, then you've completely missed the point of this thread!

    The debate was whether, in other posters' opinion, the sentences were too light for the crimes committed.

    I don't think anyone here (apart from you) cares about current sentencing guidelines, limitations on magistrates, etc. Sure, they help explain why criminals are being "let off". But the question was whether, with the information give, you think that they are being let off lightly or not.

    The fact that you ignored this question and defended the trivial sentences handed down makes me think that you don't see anything particularly bad about driving at 154mph (or nearly killing someone and leaving them for dead at the side of the road).
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 6th Aug 16, 11:24 AM
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    Johno100
    Well, then you've completely missed the point of this thread!

    The debate was whether, in other posters' opinion, the sentences were too light for the crimes committed.

    I don't think anyone here (apart from you) cares about current sentencing guidelines, limitations on magistrates, etc. Sure, they help explain why criminals are being "let off". But the question was whether, with the information give, you think that they are being let off lightly or not.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    Do you want to have another read of the relevant portion of the thread, you are the only poster seemingly living in some Daily Mail inspired hang 'em and flog 'em, "If I was in charge..." alternative dimension. The rest of us are discussing, based on what is known, the actual facts of the case reported and seeking to understand the sentence actually passed.

    The fact that you ignored this question and defended the trivial sentences handed down makes me think that you don't see anything particularly bad about driving at 154mph (or nearly killing someone and leaving them for dead at the side of the road).
    Originally posted by esuhl
    I have given my view regarding the sentence passed in the final paragraph of the post you have quoted.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 6th Aug 16, 10:30 PM
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    • 7,134 Thanks
    esuhl
    Do you want to have another read of the relevant portion of the thread, you are the only poster seemingly living in some Daily Mail inspired hang 'em and flog 'em, "If I was in charge..." alternative dimension. The rest of us are discussing, based on what is known, the actual facts of the case reported and seeking to understand the sentence actually passed.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    If you think a harsher sentence than a 56-day ban for driving at 84mph over the speed limit is "Daily Mail inspired hang 'em and flog 'em", then there's something wrong with you.

    I have given my view regarding the sentence passed in the final paragraph of the post you have quoted.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    No you haven't. You said you could see how the sentence was arrived at; not whether you thought that someone driving at 154mph should receive a harsher sentence.

    The Suffolk PCC branded the sentence a "joke":
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-36963826
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