Share the Road

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  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    In assessing GBH and/or ABH there is a consideration as to the extent of the injury caused, only. If the injured person ameliorates the situation the aggressor gets a lighter sentence, even if it could have been worse, (she says, with irritation).
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I think the point is also that in the event of future incidents, and for purposes of disclosure of convictions, it needs to be made clear that one is dealing with a violent thug, not a rubbish driver.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think that while the cyclist is clearly vulnerable in relation to the driver, he was not vulnerable in the sense of being (e.g.) elderly or disabled, which is I think, what the law intends.

    I'd still argue it in court.
    Also I don’t think the court would find this was premeditation in the way that, say, lying in wait for him the next day would have been.

    He literally drove down the road, turned around, and drove back to find the cyclist and run him over. This wasn't a reaction. This was an action, premeditated and deliberate.
    Life disqualification is not AFAICT an available sentence, although an extended retest to obtain a new licence again should have been (maybe was) required.

    If you google 'lifetime driving ban uk', you see that in rare cases, the courts can impose a lifetime ban. Normally this is at the end of a horrendously long series of driving offences. I don't know whether there's a deterrent effect to be had in slapping them down more regularly, but I'd be willing to give it a punt.
  • I thin @Alan Cresswell when you get somebody doing something like firing a gun at a person, you’re starting to get into an area where the circumstances might enable a jury to infer intent to kill or to cause gbh.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I think a two ton vehicle deliberately aimed at a person on a bike infers intent to kill or cause gbh.
  • edited February 11
    But, driving a ton or more of metal at someone, at speeds highly likely to cause death or serious injury, isn't a circumstance which might enable a jury to infer intent to kill or to cause gbh?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Lyda wrote: »
    I think a two ton vehicle deliberately aimed at a person on a bike infers intent to kill or cause gbh.

    It does, but attempted murder requires a specific intent to kill. Not to severely injure. Not even with complete indifference to the distinct possibility of killing. You have to specifically intend to kill.

    Intent to kill or cause GBH, even with intent to endanger life isn't enough. You have to act with the specific intent that your victim will not come out of it alive.

    It doesn't matter that much. GBH with intent to endanger life carries a possible life sentence, I gather. The problem here is that the guy wasn't charged with it. They never are.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think that while the cyclist is clearly vulnerable in relation to the driver, he was not vulnerable in the sense of being (e.g.) elderly or disabled, which is I think, what the law intends.

    I'd still argue it in court.
    Also I don’t think the court would find this was premeditation in the way that, say, lying in wait for him the next day would have been.

    He literally drove down the road, turned around, and drove back to find the cyclist and run him over. This wasn't a reaction. This was an action, premeditated and deliberate.
    Life disqualification is not AFAICT an available sentence, although an extended retest to obtain a new licence again should have been (maybe was) required.

    If you google 'lifetime driving ban uk', you see that in rare cases, the courts can impose a lifetime ban. Normally this is at the end of a horrendously long series of driving offences. I don't know whether there's a deterrent effect to be had in slapping them down more regularly, but I'd be willing to give it a punt.

    And even if it didn't, it would get some idiots off the road.

    I also hold that people who drive while disqualified should serve the rest of their ban behind bars.
  • Yes. I see the force of the argument, but using cars to knock people off mopeds is a tactic being used by the Met. It’s controversial because it is dangerous, but I guess there’s rarely if ever intent to kill or to cause GBH. With a car, a defendant might just say, ‘I meant to knock him off his bike and give him a fright.’ Evidence of multiple attempts, or other things might undermine that claim, but I suspect a jury might accept it. I don’t think the same sort of thing could be said about firing a gun at someone.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    BroJames wrote: »
    It’s controversial because it is dangerous

    Kind of my point. It is dangerous. Some senior figures in the force think it's too dangerous. It won't be long before they kill someone, and the practice will be banned.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    It’s controversial because it is dangerous

    Kind of my point. It is dangerous. Some senior figures in the force think it's too dangerous. It won't be long before they kill someone, and the practice will be banned.

    I think it's intended to appeal to the "who cares if some scumbag robbers get killed?" lowest common denominator element. Sort of an English version of Duterte.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    edited February 12
    I agree it’s dangerous, and because of that someone might get killed (although their chances on a speeding moped might not be much better if a stinger was used).

    All I’m arguing is that it is not too hard to argue that the act was done with a lesser intention than to kill or cause GBH, and since actual GBH was not caused, the slightly lesser charge of GBH without intent wouldn’t stand either.

    In those circumstances the penalties for dangerous driving (though less than GBH) are greater than ABH because they are as severe in terms of sentencing possibilities and include the motoring penalty of removal of licence. (The confiscation of the vehicle as an instrument of crime could have happened in either case.)

    ETA It’s perfectly fair to argue that the law should be changed (and there are arguments either way), but as it stands ISTM that it was sensibly applied.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    ...He literally drove down the road, turned around, and drove back to find the cyclist and run him over. This wasn't a reaction. This was an action, premeditated and deliberate. ...
    Agreed. Mr. Nodder should have had some jail time.


  • I'm guessing from the judge's reasons that the defendant's personal circumstances ("learning difficulties", OCD, etc.) were factors that kept him out of actual jail.

    @BroJames I'm curious: is the 8-month jail sentence mentioned as the basis for 18-month suspended sentence purely theoretical, or could someone actually get 8 months for this kind of offence?
  • No. I’m pretty sure someone could get 8 months* and, depending on the circumstances, even longer. (*although there is something of a push against short custodial sentences now as being counterproductive)
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    In California purposefully running someone down with a car is felony assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, you can do up to four years in prison and you lose your driver's license for life. People do get booked for this - here's an example from a few days ago.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    In California purposefully running someone down with a car is felony assault with a deadly weapon. If convicted, you can do up to four years in prison and you lose your driver's license for life. People do get booked for this - here's an example from a few days ago.

    It used to be in the UK until the 1920's, but IIRC there was a householder qualification in force for jury service and the kind of people who got hauled up for offences against the person (I think that's the term) were exactly those who would decide their fate. Naturally, they weren't going to send their chums from the golf club, the Masons and the chamber of commerce down, so motoring offences were introduced. After all, it wasn't the driver's fault, it woz the car wot dun it.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I would have thought that it would be proper to look into exactly what his learning difficulties are and whether they affect his driving ability, rather than using them as a defence.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Penny S wrote: »
    I would have thought that it would be proper to look into exactly what his learning difficulties are and whether they affect his driving ability, rather than using them as a defence.
    Yes, that would seem fairly basic.

  • Penny S wrote: »
    I would have thought that it would be proper to look into exactly what his learning difficulties are and whether they affect his driving ability, rather than using them as a defence.

    It's not a defence -- after all, he pled guilty to the offence. I'm not 100% sure what "leaning difficulties" means in UK English, though I'm guessing from the way it was used here that it refers to a broader intellectual deficit and not just some specific disability. The sentencing judge seems to have thought that this and his apparently nontrivial mental health issues would have made him particularly vulnerable in custody. That's not a get out a jail free card, but it's a relevant consideration in choosing between two otherwise appropriate sentences. I would guess that the sentencing judge may also have thought that these factors may have contributed to the commission of the offence, thereby reducing his overall level of culpability compared to an offender who did not have these disabilities. It doesn't excuse, but it can mitigate.

    Sentencing is far from an exact science and reasonable people in different jurisdictions (or even in the same jurisdiction) can have widely divegent views of what offences should attract what punishments. Judging from what @BroJames posted upthread the sentence imposed here appears to have been well within the range of sentences that would be imposed for similar offences (including offences not involving a car) in the U.K.
  • Do you mean:
    Gee your honour, when I was I was in the midst of a road rage caused by my learning problems I chased a guy with my car with intent to harm him. I wouldn't have done that except I am learning disabled.

    Or

    Please have mercy me because if I go to jail my learning disability means others will harm me.

    Or do you mean something else? And don't you have protective custody in the UK?
  • I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.
  • Marsupial wrote: »
    I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea.

    Both factors I mentioned can be mitigating factors in Canada, and yes, we do have protective custody here.

    There are many jurisdictions with more hard-ass views on sentencing than Canada and the UK, our neighbor to the south, for starters. Perhaps you would find their attitudes more to your liking.
    That's not it. It's consequences and response equal to the harm caused.

    Here's a short video of what happens when an idiot driver is an idiot. Hit and run. Careless. And bad infrastructure.
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