Cleared of killing a cyclist

Ian Cooper

Expat Yorkshireman
Clearly, under English law, motorists are not required to avoid people in front of them. Good to know, as I was planning a bicycle trip to the Peak District next year. Maybe I'll go to the Dordogne instead. I understand the French courts are capable of convicting motorists who kill people.
 
So, he's driving so close to the vehicle in front that when it did " suddenly" swerve out, he didnt ave time to react sufficiently to miss the cyclist?

Of course he's not guilty - not guilty of driving safely by keeping sufficient distance from the vehicle in front which would have allowed him time to react accordingly.
 

derrick

The Glue that binds us together.
[QUOTE 1933834, member: 9609"]This was all a little too close to home for me, so not sure if I am being a little biased; But I do find this outcome to be a little odd.

http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/crime/van-driver-cleared-of-killing-cyclist-1-4696000

From what I understand one van following another, the first moves out to pass a cyclist, the second van does not have time to move out and kills cyclist. Van driver cleared of blame -[/quote]
It just makes you wonder what is going on in our courts.
 

Pauluk

Senior Member
Location
Leicester
I sometimes wonder if the press do this sort of thing on purpose. This man was found not guilty by a jury, so what facts did they have that weren't reported in the headline story. Is it a case of the press just sensationalising a story by withholding certain facts to sell papers.

That being said, I for one do not believe Britain has a credible justice system.
 
Im always a bit wary of what they print in papers maybe it is as black & white as the paper says on the other hand maybe it isnt and thats why he got found not guilty. Either way its a tragedy for the cyclists family.
 

Tiberius Baltar

Active Member
Location
Liverpool
I don't understand this at all. If I knocked down and killed a pedestrian/cyclist/motorway maintenance worker then how could I be "cleared" of killing that person? The man driving the van hit and killed this poor unfortunate cyclist, that is surely a fact. So how is it possible to clear him?
What sort of technical jargon or ridiculous loophole would allow this to happen? I understand that this was a terrible and unfortunate accident and I am not saying that this man is in any way a bad/dangerous driver but the vehicle he was in charge of has ended up causing someones death. So how is he cleared?
More importantly, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone involved in this. Tragic and pointless way to die.
 

MrJamie

Oaf on a Bike
Its always horrible to read these stories of cyclists being killed and must be awful for her family and fiancé, but I cant help but read that with some sensationalist spin on it obscuring the facts.

Theres another earlier story here: http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2012/06/27/cyclist-killed-by-van-on-a189-spine-road-near-cramlington-court-told-61634-31269012/

I dont get how on the one hand he says he didnt have time to steer round her but on the other hand he says he didnt see her at all, unless its just quotes in poor english "i never seen her" out of context.

Very sad :sad:
 

snorri

Legendary Member
This man was found not guilty by a jury, .
I think you have underlined the reason for the verdict.
The jury is drawn from the general populace and is likely to include a high percentage of drivers many of whom think "there but for the grace of god" when they look at a driver in the dock and will look sympathetically on those charged with driving offences, particularly when the victim is not another driver.
 

Ian Cooper

Expat Yorkshireman
I don't understand this at all. If I knocked down and killed a pedestrian/cyclist/motorway maintenance worker then how could I be "cleared" of killing that person?
I think the report that he's 'cleared of killing' the cyclist is just journalistic shorthand. Most likely, he's cleared of legal fault for her death. Not really surprising, given that the chances are that the jury were all motorists, none of them cyclists, and probably more than half of them, when they drive, drive too close to the vehicle in front of them.

If the victim is not a member of a group members of the jury can self-identify with, and if the killer is, the jury is more likely to acquit. If the victim had been driving a car, or if the killer had been another cyclist, chances are the killer would have been convicted.
 

sidevalve

Über Member
I sometimes wonder if the press do this sort of thing on purpose. This man was found not guilty by a jury, so what facts did they have that weren't reported in the headline story. Is it a case of the press just sensationalising a story by withholding certain facts to sell papers.

That being said, I for one do not believe Britain has a credible justice system.
I for one do not believe that britain has a credible [or reliable] PRESS. Facts do not sell newspapers,scandal and hype does. A large part of the world would fight [and many would willingly die] for a legal system such as ours [even with it's flaws and mistakes,and there are many]. The very fact that we can freely critisize it in open forum is some proof of that.
As for the "ooh look at us we're being picked on" attitude. I for one have heard the same sort of thing from m/cyclists, car drivers, farmers, truck drivers,several assorted ethnic groups and dog walkers, and that's only so far this week. It aint a perfect world, get over it.
Finally comment without all the facts is, as Blackadder would say, like a broken pencil, pointless.
 
I think you have underlined the reason for the verdict.
The jury is drawn from the general populace and is likely to include a high percentage of drivers many of whom think "there but for the grace of god" when they look at a driver in the dock and will look sympathetically on those charged with driving offences, particularly when the victim is not another driver.
I want to think otherwise but I know you are right :sad:
 
I for one do not believe that britain has a credible [or reliable] PRESS. Facts do not sell newspapers,scandal and hype does. A large part of the world would fight [and many would willingly die] for a legal system such as ours [even with it's flaws and mistakes,and there are many]. The very fact that we can freely critisize it in open forum is some proof of that.
As for the "ooh look at us we're being picked on" attitude. I for one have heard the same sort of thing from m/cyclists, car drivers, farmers, truck drivers,several assorted ethnic groups and dog walkers, and that's only so far this week. It aint a perfect world, get over it.
Finally comment without all the facts is, as Blackadder would say, like a broken pencil, pointless.
Oh so that's alright then? Because we have a legal system "many would die for" the fact that some poor highly visible( "The experienced rider and triathlete was wearing high-visibility clothes and visored helmet. She also had reflectors fitted to her cycle") cyclist was mowed down by white van man doesn't really bother you? If you notice all the ones you say claim to be picked on don't fall into the category of having their lives put at risk(apart from motorcyclists) like us cyclists. They might have a gripe about "equality" or "unfairness" but that doesn't involve being killed then seeing the law turn a blind eye to their death does it?! Every time i go out i'm concious of people like Daniel McKay, are they concious of me when they go out..i don't think so!
We have an anti cycling culture in Britain. Cyclists are hated by many because we "don't pay road tax" or we "ignore the highway code",and because we are generally fitter than the average slob motorist, which they hate, but are in denial about! Why should the ones like Elizabeth Brown pay the ultimate price for someone elses's bad attitude?
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
First point. We were not in court. We didn't hear the evidence and are hence clueless whether we would have come to the same conclusion as the jury.

Second point. Whilst a jury may be influenced by their demographic (more likely to be experienced drivers than cyclists) and hence imperfect in outlook - many of us would fight tooth and nail for our right whenever possible to be judged by a jury. Better a collection of imperfect individuals than a judge who considers himself perfect.

Don't knock the jury system please.
 
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