Hitting a cyclist from behind not dangerous, just careless.

http://www.roadjustice.org.uk/case-study/cyclist-dies-collision-nantwich-121113
  • UPDATE 13/03/15


Paul Byrne has been found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

Nicholas Williams went on to say in his closing statement that Mr Byrne ‘knew that bridge and knew those lights’. Around the corner ‘he should have had a clear view of up to 200 metres’ and said: “He should have seen him in plenty of time to stop. Instead he ploughed straight into him and killed him. Is this careless or just plain dangerous?”

Defending barrister Nicola Esterian Gatto told the court that environmental issues such as a low winter sun and hedgerow shadows ‘could have hindered the view’ of cab driver Byrne as he came round the bend travelling towards the bridge and had called expert witness James Manning during the trial to give his opinion on the possible effects of glare caused by moisture on the road.

He agreed that Byrne would have had a clear and unobstructed view of the bridge traffic lights for 200 metres.

The tacograph which was fitted to Mr Byrne’s vehicle hadn’t recorded any sudden braking when reaching or passing over the bridge and Ms Gatto suggested this supported evidence that Mr Byrne had not seen Mr Gandy.

Paul Byrne will return to court on April 17 for sentencing.
 

young Ed

Veteran
tragic! and i'm sorry but if you have 200 metres view of the cyclist and you just plough on and straight into the cyclist killing him then i'm not sure you should be on the road quite frankly, if you can't keep your eyes open and stay alert then i say no driving
Cheers Ed
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Low winter sun and long shadows is a crap defence. If that's the case its incumbent upon the driver to be even more careful than usual, or even pull over and stop altogether. This pleading guilty to a lesser offence malarkey is also b******s as well, and is accepted by the CPS because it gives them a better chance of a.conviction, and therefore.another target met.

The Couldn't Prosecute Satan treat justice as a joke, a big game intended to provide advancement and succour to those who rely upon it for a living, and the sooner I'm retired and don't have to work with them the better.
 
Bizarre!

He knew the road so well that he didn't even know which side of the bridge he was!

The Hitchen Foods cab driver, who has three points on his license for speeding, claimed during police interview he stopped before the bridge next to a duck pond after hearing a rattling noise, which he thought sounded like it was coming from the near side foot well.

He retracted his statement in court and agreed he stopped next to a gate on the other side of the bridge.

He said: “I thought I knew the road reasonably well but obviously I don’t, I was very surprised how close the duck pond is to the bridge.”
 

spen666

Guru
Too much nonsense posted on this subject.

The offences of careless and dangerous driving have specific definitions. It is not the same as the dictionary meaning of the words careless and dangerous.

Don't blame the CPS for applying the law. They don't make the law, that is the role of Parliament and our elected mps. The CPS can only apply the law as it is.
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
Too much nonsense posted on this subject.

The offences of careless and dangerous driving have specific definitions. It is not the same as the dictionary meaning of the words careless and dangerous.

Don't blame the CPS for applying the law. They don't make the law, that is the role of Parliament and our elected mps. The CPS can only apply the law as it is.
Actually the CPS is instrumental at framing the laws where the intent is made clear by parliament. They work hand in hand with AG's legislative legal draughtman to do it. They are experts in prosecution. Its never done in a vacumn. They actually have the final say on the technical nature including defnitions. When parliament passes law on environment or medicine, you think that Cameron and Milliband sit around a hotstove working out details or do you think leave the scientists and medical folks define and frame it. Reminds me of your claim that one cannot prosecute without witnesses.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Too much nonsense posted on this subject.

The offences of careless and dangerous driving have specific definitions. It is not the same as the dictionary meaning of the words careless and dangerous.

Don't blame the CPS for applying the law. They don't make the law, that is the role of Parliament and our elected mps. The CPS can only apply the law as it is.
Do what? I work with the CPS daily and your assertion is simply untrue. At the very best they're likely not to look at the most appropriate offence, but what offence they feel they will get a conviction on - their whole culture is one of working to targets, not to serve justice. At worst individual prosecutors, even senior ones, often make - and voice - their own interpretation of both definitions and case law. The number of appeals against.ridiculous CPS decisions.we have to make is vast, and the majority of those are upheld. The situation isnt helped that the type of staff they attract are the second raters, the real talented and switched on one's having gone into private practice where the salary is much more lucrative.

They're not known as the Criminal Protection Service by front line bobbies, or Couldn't Prosecute Satan by D' s for nothing.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
There is certainly a lot of, er, professional tension between the police and the CPS.

The police will say the CPS don't try hard enough, and the CPS will say the police routinely try to over charge.

In this case, the most serious charge, death by dangerous, was laid.

The defendant denied it, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of death by careless.

One would like to think the jury carefully considered the dangerous charge and found it was not made out.

However, I do wonder in cases where a guilty plea is already on the table for a lesser charge, if a timid jury might be tempted to cop out.

"After all," one of them may have said. "It's not as if we are letting him off altogether."

Over the years, I have spoken to quite a few jurors after their service.

All, it seems to me, take their responsibilities appropriately seriously.

Some get quite stressed by it.

My sample is nowhere near large enough to be statistically representative, but it is likely the jury in this case, having heard the evidence, did their best to come up with the correct verdict as they saw it.
 

albion

Veteran
Location
South Tyneside
Those defence arguments such as sun, moisture seem to be saying that 'inappropriate driving is not dangerous'
 

spen666

Guru
Do what? I work with the CPS daily and your assertion is simply untrue. At the very best they're likely not to look at the most appropriate offence, but what offence they feel they will get a conviction on - their whole culture is one of working to targets, not to serve justice. At worst individual prosecutors, even senior ones, often make - and voice - their own interpretation of both definitions and case law. The number of appeals against.ridiculous CPS decisions.we have to make is vast, and the majority of those are upheld. The situation isnt helped that the type of staff they attract are the second raters, the real talented and switched on one's having gone into private practice where the salary is much more lucrative.

They're not known as the Criminal Protection Service by front line bobbies, or Couldn't Prosecute Satan by D' s for nothing.
Very nice rant, except for one minor minor point.

The CPS did prosecute the driver for death by dangerous driving.

Why did the case fail? Probably because there was insufficient evidence to persuade the jury the offence was made out.

The CPS present the evidence in court, but who obtains or collects it?

Yes, that's right the police.

So you have a situation where the police fail to provide sufficient evidence and then blame the CPS for what is effectively a police failing.


Oh and I work with police and CPS everyday as well, but I have no vested interest in either camp as I worek for neither of them
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
glenn forger

glenn forger

Guest
Bit less indenting please. The charge is too emotive, why do you think they had problems with juries in Apartheid South Africa? It falls because of There But For the Grace of God. There should be a single charge, Causing Death on the Roads, let the court sort out the sentence. This keeps happening because driving standards are so low and jurors are reluctant to expose their driving to scrutiny, of COURSE it was Dangerous because a man is dead, there's the proof, but too many cases are slipping away because of these charges that amount to a hostage to fortune.
 

Origamist

Legendary Member
Location
Sandbach
It beggars belief that the driver of the HGV "coincidentally" stopped immediately after the collision and claimed he was checking a rattling noise which he believed to be a faulty headlight.
 
OP
glenn forger

glenn forger

Guest
The move to create a ‘causing death by careless driving’ offence has coincided with a sharp reduction in the number of motorists convicted of killing on the roads from receiving custodial sentences. It gives the impression that dangerous driving isn’t actually “dangerous” if it is simply due to the driver not paying attention. This is wrong in law, but this is never explained to jurors. So driving which causes obvious danger continues to be treated in law as if it were mere “carelessness”. And thus we continue to think of driving which endangers or kills people as not that big a deal really.
 
Top Bottom