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Killer cyclist on trial for manslaughter
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGreg wrote:
Paul L wrote:
Hammerer – I take your point about the technical definition of remorse, as I’ve had to look it up. Rolling Eyes

However, this case appears to centre around whether he is actually correct in his belief that there was nothing he could do.

E.g.
- If I am driving my car within the speed limit.
- Then, for no apparent reason, the car in front of me slams their brakes on.
- Despite braking as quickly as I could, I still crash into the back of the car in front.

Legally, I can’t claim there was nothing I could do because the car in front braked without warning.

No, instead I am 100% legally at fault for not leaving a safe braking distance between me and the car in front.

So in this case, he appears to be arguing that they was nothing he could after she stepped out in front of him.

However, if he had been riding at a slower speed before she stepped out then there would have been something he could have done and therefore it was avoidable.

As I understand it, it was the distance between the two of them when she stepped out that is the key part of the prosecution case.

So whilst he might believe he is blameless in all this, the jury (who had access to all the evidence) does not agree with him and have found him guilty.

But, as always, what do I know? Wink

Cheers, Paul. Smile


There is a difference between culpability and CRIMINAL culpability.

She is equally culpable (more so IMO), but would you think she should be prosecuted for manslaughter if he had been the one to die ?


Now that is an interesting question...
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hammerer




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
SGreg wrote:
Paul L wrote:
Hammerer – I take your point about the technical definition of remorse, as I’ve had to look it up. Rolling Eyes

However, this case appears to centre around whether he is actually correct in his belief that there was nothing he could do.

E.g.
- If I am driving my car within the speed limit.
- Then, for no apparent reason, the car in front of me slams their brakes on.
- Despite braking as quickly as I could, I still crash into the back of the car in front.

Legally, I can’t claim there was nothing I could do because the car in front braked without warning.

No, instead I am 100% legally at fault for not leaving a safe braking distance between me and the car in front.

So in this case, he appears to be arguing that they was nothing he could after she stepped out in front of him.

However, if he had been riding at a slower speed before she stepped out then there would have been something he could have done and therefore it was avoidable.

As I understand it, it was the distance between the two of them when she stepped out that is the key part of the prosecution case.

So whilst he might believe he is blameless in all this, the jury (who had access to all the evidence) does not agree with him and have found him guilty.

But, as always, what do I know? Wink

Cheers, Paul. Smile


There is a difference between culpability and CRIMINAL culpability.

She is equally culpable (more so IMO), but would you think she should be prosecuted for manslaughter if he had been the one to die ?


Now that is an interesting question...


the only real charge that could be brought is gross negligence manslaughter, and I'm not convinced the law would cover crossing a road without looking. Would a reasonable person attempt to cross a road without seeing a cyclist? Wouldn't take much to get off even if the CPS brought the charge
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Paul L




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, there are now far too many points being raised for me to keep up, so I’ll try to be brief (ish).

eJC – I guess I see the public interest angle differently to you.

There was public interest in the recent spate of acid attacks that has lead both a change in the law and sentencing guidance (I believe), surely this is to be expected/encouraged?

To me, this case is consistent with the regular prosecution of speeders on YouTube rather than a one off.

However, I’d like to see the public interest angle leading to more drivers being prosecuted for killing other road users, be they pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists.

SGreg – See public interest angle above, if a pedestrian causes the death of a cyclist then why shouldn’t they be prosecuted? Even if it means charging them with an obscure ‘jay walking’ offence from 1782? (OK, just spotted some more posts on this while I’ve been typing.)

Hammerer – Sorry I may not have been clear enough there. It is not that he was speeding per se, it is the fact he was going faster than a bike with no front brake should have been in the circumstances. My understanding is that the prosecution’s case is based on the fact he could have stopped/slowed significantly in the time/distance available if he had a front brake. Therefore if you are riding/driving with working brakes within the speed limit and can’t stop in time for someone stepping into the road in front of you, there would be no liability as it was an accident. The CPS argument appears to be it was not an accident due to his lack of a front brake.

stenard – Who said anything about 5mph everywhere? But there is a big difference between cycling down a quiet country road with no pavement early on a Sunday morning and doing the same speed on Oxford Street on a busy Saturday afternoon isn’t there? Having a laugh my ar$e. Wink

I guess where we differ is that I believe this case is a long way from being the same as my ‘PS’ example, as there was nothing illegal about my friend’s car and there was absolutely no time to react. However, in this case the CPS argument is there was time to react. Without seeing the actual evidence I couldn’t tell you one way or the other whether this is true or not. Perhaps they will release the CCTV footage after sentencing?

However, I fully agree with your last point about the inequality of worst offences getting a lesser punishment (see my point to eJC above), but two wrongs don’t make a right either.

Anyway, I’ll end on a more light hearted note…

Surely it is illegal for me to be posting on a triathlon forum when my last race was in 2009. Rolling Eyes

Cheers, Paul. Smile
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stenard




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul L wrote:
Hammerer – Sorry I may not have been clear enough there. It is not that he was speeding per se, it is the fact he was going faster than a bike with no front brake should have been in the circumstances. My understanding is that the prosecution’s case is based on the fact he could have stopped/slowed significantly in the time/distance available if he had a front brake. Therefore if you are riding/driving with working brakes within the speed limit and can’t stop in time for someone stepping into the road in front of you, there would be no liability as it was an accident. The CPS argument appears to be it was not an accident due to his lack of a front brake.

stenard – Who said anything about 5mph everywhere? But there is a big difference between cycling down a quiet country road with no pavement early on a Sunday morning and doing the same speed on Oxford Street on a busy Saturday afternoon isn’t there? Having a laugh my ar$e. Wink

But that's exactly the point. The "evidence" that he could have stopped with a working front brake has been stated as fundamentally flawed by a QC who specialises in cycling. The police "evidence" was absolutely laughable if you watch the video that was presented in court. It's been released.

So if, as other experts have said, he could not have stopped with a working front brake, then what then? He gets fined (as he should) for an illegal bike, but is not then criminally culpable for the actual outcome. That should have been the result of this case IMO, and the fact it is not is worrying. Albeit that seems to have been a failing of his legal counsel in terms of demonstrating those points in court, that doesn't stop it being a worrying fact that the CPS brought a manslaughter charge in the first place, in contrast to the charges brought against drivers who "plough" into someone whilst on their mobile phone, or whilst speeding.

As for 5mph, I picked an arbitrarily low number. Simply because you said

"However, if he had been riding at a slower speed before she stepped out then there would have been something he could have done and therefore it was avoidable."

What did you then mean by a "slower" speed. And what is sufficiently slow to predict a non-road user suddenly stepping onto the road without looking? How is travelling along a London road at the same speed as the traffic "too fast"? You seemed to be implying cyclists should ride at a speed where they can stop at the drop of a hat for something completely unpredictable ... ergo, they need to ride ridiculously slow.

You also seem to be focussing solely on his lack of brake. We've all accepted that fact, and that he deserves punishment for riding an illegal bike. I think what most of us are concerned by is the precedent this sets and the mindset it creates in terms of the general public to cyclists.

i.e. hitting someone who steps out without looking whilst you're on a TT bike with your hands on the extensions.
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul L wrote:
OK, there are now far too many points being raised for me to keep up, so I’ll try to be brief (ish).

eJC – I guess I see the public interest angle differently to you.

There was public interest in the recent spate of acid attacks that has lead both a change in the law and sentencing guidance (I believe), surely this is to be expected/encouraged?

To me, this case is consistent with the regular prosecution of speeders on YouTube rather than a one off.

However, I’d like to see the public interest angle leading to more drivers being prosecuted for killing other road users, be they pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists.



Yep, i think you have summed your position of misunderstanding up quite well.. Smile

You tube speeders are charged similarly to other speeders..therefore not a relevant comparison.

There usually is interest in a spate of attacks...spate and attack being the operative words here...therefore not a relevant comparison.

He has become a whipping boy based on popular victimhood...it's a scary precedent to set...
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul L wrote:

Anyway, I’ll end on a more light hearted note…

Surely it is illegal for me to be posting on a triathlon forum when my last race was in 2009. Rolling Eyes

Cheers, Paul. Smile


well, me too...
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Paul L




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard – With the greatest respect, I am not the one “focussing solely on his lack of brake”, the CPS are.

Similarly, the speed argument isn’t mine, it is the CPS’s. Their case is that his speed/brake combination lead to the accident, in other words he could have travelled at the same speed with a brake fitted, or a slower speed without one, and avoided the accident.

As before, I’m also not trying to justify “charges brought against drivers who "plough" into someone whilst on their mobile phone, or whilst speeding”.

The ‘facts’ of this case is that his defence team did not prove he would have been unable to stop with a front brake fitted. If they had, then I fully agree with you that he would have no case to answer for the resulting death. Unfortunately, expert evidence provided outside the courtroom counts for nothing unless there is an appeal.

“You seemed to be implying cyclists should ride at a speed where they can stop at the drop of a hat for something completely unpredictable ... ergo, they need to ride ridiculously slow.”

Just to be clear, that is not what I am saying at all.

If something unpredictable happens while you are following the rules of the road on a legal and road worthy bike then you can argue it was an accident and you should not liable.

However….

“i.e. hitting someone who steps out without looking whilst you're on a TT bike with your hands on the extensions.”

Can I politely suggest this is not a very good example to use.

As making a conscious decision to adopt a full TT position is not the same as ‘riding normally’.

Therefore it would seem reasonable that you had at least considered the possible consequences of this decision before putting your hands on the extensions.

As per my previous example, I wouldn’t adopt a TT position while riding down Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon. Shocked

eJC – OK, fair enough, I see where you are coming from.

I guess the only subtle difference in my view on YouTube speeders is they have prompted their own prosecution.
( When they would simply have got away with the speeding offence if they hadn’t gone public about it. )

Anyway, that is definitely all from me for a while.

Have a good Bank Holiday weekend, Paul. Smile
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stenard




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul L wrote:
The ‘facts’ of this case is that his defence team did not prove he would have been unable to stop with a front brake fitted. If they had, then I fully agree with you that he would have no case to answer for the resulting death. Unfortunately, expert evidence provided outside the courtroom counts for nothing unless there is an appeal.

OK, well maybe I've misunderstood what you are saying. So you're just taking the facts as presented as true? Fine, your points are broadly valid if those facts were accurate. However as many people on here and in many other places online have said, the defence did an awful job. Therefore we are effectively debating what should have transpired if the facts presented in court were more fair.

That said, it still doesnt answer the question of why the CPS chose to bring a manslaughter charge in this case, when that is not true of motorists who commit more egregious, conscious, misjudgements on the road.

Paul L wrote:
However….

“i.e. hitting someone who steps out without looking whilst you're on a TT bike with your hands on the extensions.”

Can I politely suggest this is not a very good example to use.

As making a conscious decision to adopt a full TT position is not the same as ‘riding normally’.

Therefore it would seem reasonable that you had at least considered the possible consequences of this decision before putting your hands on the extensions.

As per my previous example, I wouldn’t adopt a TT position while riding down Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon. Shocked

Agreed, riding down Oxford street on the extensions is not sensible, and if I were going to a session in Regents Park and happened to be going down Oxford Street then I would be on the basebar. But where do you draw the line? If Oxford Street is not sensible, what road is? On any road, people can step out. And being on the extensions obviously is riding normally on a TT bike.

You seem to be adopting the mindset many of us are concerned about ... riding a TT bike on the extensions is not a safe thing to do. So when exactly are you going to allow it, as 95% of races/TTs are on open roads. Are we only allowed to use our extensions in closed road events?

Ultimately it comes back to the point of accountability. Yes this guy should have had a front brake / a TT rider could have been on the hoods. But if someone steps out into their path when they shouldn't, how are they not the one at fault regardless of what the cyclist was doing? If they just looked and crossed safely, the actions of the cyclist are irrelevant. As someone said above, we don't have an enforced jaywalking mindset in this country, but it seems rather perverse to make road users accountable for predicting the unexpected actions of non-road users.

You said above if a pedestrian caused the death of a cyclist they should be prosecuted, but that just begins to imply that the "culpable" party is the one who comes off least hurt! Someone has to be the one at fault in similar circumstances, regardless of whether or not they are the least, or most, injured as a result.

Ultimately, this is a tragic set of circumstances, with a freak occurence of events that has led to the death of an individual. In most cases, both parties would have got up, had a bit of a shout at one another, and got on with their lives. But the ramifications of the precedents that have been set by this case, and the attitude of the criminal justice system to cyclists versus motorists versus pedestrians in general moving forwards is worrying.
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Paul L




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’d forgotten just how much I hate the whole “you said / I said” nature of a forum debate compared to a normal conversation. Rolling Eyes

stenard wrote:
… So you're just taking the facts as presented as true? …


No, the ‘facts of the case’ are that there was a prosecution and a defence and a guilty verdict.

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stenard wrote:
… we are effectively debating what should have transpired if the facts presented in court were more fair. …


Unfortunately, that is something else entirely and please bear in mind that I only started chipping in when the debate had reached the point of why he was facing jail, not why he was in court in the first place. Wink

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stenard wrote:
… it still doesnt answer the question of why the CPS chose to bring a manslaughter charge in this case…


Based on the CPS’s website there are four elements to a manslaughter charge:

It must be proved that:
#1 - The suspect's act caused the death of another;
#2 - The suspect's act constituted a criminal offence in itself;
#3 - The suspect had the mens rea appropriate to the unlawful act which caused the death of another; and
#4 - The suspect's unlawful act is objectively recognised as subjecting another to the risk of some physical harm, albeit not necessarily serious harm.

Taking each in turn (and once again, please bear in mind this is the CPS’s argument, not mine):
#1 - The lack of a front brake caused the accident as there was sufficient time/distance to avoid/lessen the impact if one had been fitted/used.
#2 - Riding a bike on the road without a front brake is illegal.
#3 - He knew it was illegal to ride a bike without a front brake.
#4 - Riding a bike in London without a front brake poses a risk of “some harm” to others.

Of those points, you would be hard pressed to argue against #2 & #4.
#1 is a subjective point requiring the evidence of experts and is clearly a matter of some debate.
#3 comes down to the jury believing (or not) his evidence when he said he didn’t know the law.

Now I’ve not seen the CCTV footage, or all the other evidence presented in court, but it does look like the CPS had at least the foundations of a case as they saw it.

The fact that the jury took over 12 hours to reach a verdict suggest that this was not a clear cut case one way, or the other.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Note:
Point #2 above clearly states why someone riding a legal bike within the speed limit can not be charged with manslaughter if someone steps out in front of them.

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stenard wrote:
…, when that is not true of motorists who commit more egregious, conscious, misjudgements on the road….


Again this is a different matter and at no point have I ever condoned the lack of manslaughter charges being brought against motorists by the CPS.

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stenard wrote:
… You seem to be adopting the mindset many of us are concerned about ... riding a TT bike on the extensions is not a safe thing to do. …


stenard wrote:
… riding down Oxford street on the extensions is not sensible …


FFS, by your own admission there are clearly times when it is not safe to be riding a TT bike on the extensions. Rolling Eyes

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Which seems like a good point to step away from this debate.

Cheers, Paul. Smile
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why debating is important...it is, in effect, thinking out loud and allows both parties to consider and refine their argument and learn...
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SloggingScotsman




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
This is why debating is important...it is, in effect, thinking out loud and allows both parties to consider and refine their argument and learn...
Absolutely.


I would add a second perspective as well.

Take two sides, any two sides, could be nations, religions, gangs v police, spooks v terrorists, Ejc v me, any two sides, including customers v suppliers, and cyclists v pedestrians.

We all have our perspective and beliefs and knowledge and understandings. The other person has a different set of such life experiences.

By listening to the other side, considering their perspectives, a lot of mutual understanding, respect, and mutual benefit and harmony can result. It can be terribly difficult listening to things that challenge your own worldview in whatever way, e.g. Cyclists v pedestrians, but that is all part of the evolutionary process.

It's partially how we have dragged ourselves out of caves bopping neighbours over the head with a club and grabbing their wife all the way up to the United Nations.

When people stop listening, reflecting, evaluating, challenging their own beliefs etc, which can be mighty uncomfortable, you can end up with some of the cr@p we see in our world today. And sadly such egotistic attributes are darkening our world again, to all of our costs.

But what the heck do I know.


Sloggers now awaits Ejcs 'you started so well, then....' Wink
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sluggers, after a weak start, you finished strongly... Smile

And you got it the wrong way round...we went from the UN to bopping each other on the head...
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blindcider




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My big concern in this case is that how weak sentencing for death by dangerous driving is. This case has been pursued with seemingly far more vigour than a car-pedestrian collision would be. He's clearly a prat, which should be the big lesson, but last time I looked that wasn't illegal. I don't know enough about the forensic detail of this case presented to the jury so I can only go on that.

Also I have big concerns about the future as given how frequently people step out into the road in front of me as a cyclist: I had an 'off' last year with a student attending a college near work when he stepped out - He looked directly at me and then stepped into me which was frightening - luckily no-one was hurt. I informed the police and the college and neither were in the slightest bit interested. I digress, my concern is about the increase in quiet electric cars, too many people rely on their hearing to let them know there is traffic about .
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SloggingScotsman wrote:
I would add a second perspective as well.


He's back Very Happy
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explorerJC




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrahamO wrote:
SloggingScotsman wrote:
I would add a second perspective as well.


He's back Very Happy


oh yes.....and on the front page too...
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