Friday, 4 January 2013

More victim blaming from my profession?

Updating my table of sentencing in fatal cases I came across this:

Both prosecution and defence debated whether Mr Warrington should have been on the A1 in the dark at 4am, but concluded that the law allowed him to be.

Mr Warrington had a rear light that could be seen some 200 metres away.

Rather a lot of reports of these tragic cases seem to have an at best superfluous discussion about the cyclist's entitlement to be on the road.  The motorist's entitlement to use the road is always taken as granted.


  1. Outrageous. He thought it was a bollard - so hitting roadside bollards with your lorry is considered normal, is it?

    Why shouldn't cyclists be on the road? Aren't roads there expressly to get you from A to B, using whatever legal vehicle you chose?

  2. And "On that morning he had not driven over his hours". Does that mean that on some other mornings he does?

  3. I decided to search my local paper, covering Dorset, under "cyclist klled" and found 97 reports over the last 10 years. One such is this one from May 2003is as follows


    "Antony's death may get law changed"

    A DORSET Echo story could help change the law after it highlighted anger at a driver's lenient sentence for a crash in which a schoolboy cyclist died.

    South Dorset MP Jim Knight is sending last Saturday's front page lead to a special government committee which is meeting to consider a Criminal Justice Bill amendment which could mean a sentence of up to 14 years in prison for such serious incidents.

    The Echo story detailed the anger of villagers in Wool where 15-year-old cyclist Antony Wakelin died last October in an accident with a car driven by a Liverpool man who admitted driving without due care and attention and with no insurance or a driving licence. He was fined £200 and banned from driving for two years.

    Mr Knight said: "If people drive through villages at an excess speed without a driving licence and with no insurance, and they have an accident in which someone is killed, then people have a reasonable expectation that some sort of custodial sentence will follow.

    "Certainly Antony's death left villagers in Wool rightly feeling that they had been let down by the sentence and that something needs to be done to change the law.

    "That is what I am trying to achieve and why I have sent the Echo's story to the committee considering an amendment to the Bill, to make sure that they are aware of what happened at Wool so they can bear it in mind in their deliberations."

    Wool county and district councillor Malcolm Shakesby also praised the Echo and said: "Full credit must go to the Echo for highlighting the situation and I just hope the Government takes it into account.

    "I was there in Wool returning from a meeting the night Antony died, and I feel so strongly about this sentence that I fully support a change in the law.

    "Everybody in Wool is fuming at the sentence and I want to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again."

    Mr Knight added that Government action followed many similar serious incidents all over the country where people died in accidents, only for inadequate sentences to be handed out to those directly or indirectly involved.

    Mr Knight said: "New top level sentences of up to 14 years in prison would be available under the proposed amendment, and it would be up to individual courts to decide how severe a sentence they wished to impose on any one case."


    It seem nothing has changed, surely this is a disgrace to our legislature and legal system.


  4. 10 years on and has " Jim Knight " & others had any success ? Blogged during the Olympic , a discussion with a Road Traffic Police Sargeant that had the same attitude as those that Martin was dealing with at the " Consultation "!

    British Parliament seems to be like the US Congress ( walked away from the Hurricane Disaster relief for New York ), do nothing UNLESS personally inconvenienced ?

  5. At least they decided that cyclists are allowed on the roads in the end. More than a little concerning that it needed to be debated though :-/

  6. The stuff you are writing blows out my mind.
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