/ Justice?

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Yanis Nayu - on 06 Oct 2017
Lion Bakes on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Shocking isn't it?

2
Jim C - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Crazy logic indeed, the victim was careful to use the designated crossing point. The driver should take particular care when approaching a designated crossing point.

The victim was 'careful' but the driver was clearly 'careless' and should have been prosecuted as such.



2
Dax H - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> Crazy logic indeed, the victim was careful to use the designated crossing point. The driver should take particular care when approaching a designated crossing point.

> The victim was 'careful' but the driver was clearly 'careless' and should have been prosecuted as such.

Was the driver careless though? According to the article the driver was accelerating to 10mph, I assume the impact damage to both the victim and the car indicate it was low speed otherwise it would have been challenged in court.
The judge heard the evidence that we have not heard and made a judgement.
Sometimes no matter how careful you are shit happens, 2 lives have been lost to this incident and if it was a genuine accident (or maybe the pedestrians fault, we have sell seen people just walk out in to the road before without looking just like we have all seen drivers texting away whilst driving) would it help anyone to potentially ruin another life by sending her to jail?
4
girlymonkey - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I know this is about cycling, but the way we see when driving is interesting.

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/

A jail sentence for someone who is genuinely devastated by what she did is likely to be counter productive. There is no rehabilitation to be done, she will be plagued by guilt from this for the rest of her life. A prison sentence leaves her much more likely to become a criminal in other ways as she meets hardened criminals and is possibly exposed to drugs etc.

The article doesn't say whether she kept her driving licence or was ordered onto any other lessons, these would be measures which may be suitable.

I'm sure the judge knew what they were doing and made a good decision, they are well trained! Justice shouldn't be about revenge, it should be about ensuring that the person never does anything like that again.
2
Ridge - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Justice shouldn't be about revenge, it should be about ensuring that the person never does anything like that again.

I pretty much agree with all your post except the above. As well as rehabilitation all sentences need a punitive and deterrent aspect.

Otherwise victims and families might be tempted to handle the punitive side themselves, and if there is no deterrent to prevent them doing so, why not?
2
Trangia on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
> Somewhat at a loss to comprehend this one.

As you were not in court that's not surprising. On the evidence given in that Newspaper report how can anyone who wasn't there possibly come to any opinion?

The pilot piece is very interesting
Post edited at 07:35
1
girlymonkey - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Ridge:

The family will never think the punishment is enough anyway.
Maybe some sort of community service then would be appropriate. I see no logic in locking up people who are no risk as they are massively more likely to offend when released. Community service and other measures (like maybe speed awareness courses or other driving improvement related courses in this type of event) would be of benefit to the whole community. Locking someone up who is not likely to reoffend costs us all financially and often gives us another hardened criminal on the streets after their incarceration.
3
john arran - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Ridge:

> I pretty much agree with all your post except the above. As well as rehabilitation all sentences need a punitive and deterrent aspect.

> Otherwise victims and families might be tempted to handle the punitive side themselves, and if there is no deterrent to prevent them doing so, why not?

Fair enough in most cases, but your reference to "all sentences" is where I would disagree. It could well be that the trauma of having taken a life is punitive enough. Obviously this will be case-dependant since some people will be far more devastated than others. A newspaper report is hardly likely to convey such subtleties unless they confirmed its narrative.

And as for deterrent, do you really think that this driver, or indeed any other driver, will be quite happy to run over pedestrians on crossings in future, safe in the knowledge the Court will not penalise them for it?

Not only is there often an (understandable) desire from victims or their families for severe punitive action against the perpetrator, even if there may be no positive outcome from doing so, but oddly this seems to extend to complete strangers too. It's curious: why do we (that's all of us, me included) instinctively feel a desire for revenge/punishment even though we have not been wronged, and in some cases even when the wrongdoing may have been an unavoidable accident not even caused by negligence?
gazhbo - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

She was found not guilty - so she can't be sentenced at all.
The New NickB - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Ridge:

> I pretty much agree with all your post except the above. As well as rehabilitation all sentences need a punitive and deterrent aspect.

This somewhat ignores the fact that she was found not guilty, obviously I was not in court, but based on the reported evidence, I can see why.
ian caton on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Who needs courts? Let UKC decide.
Yanis Nayu - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Dax H:

The point is how she could be found not guilty?

Acoording to the deceased’s son, he was on the third stripe of the crossing. He was 91, so hardly likely to be sprinting out into the road after his ball was he?
2
Yanis Nayu - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:

I don’t believe in a punishment for its own sake, but you shouldn’t get away with running someone over and killing them while they were in the middle of a zebra crossing, with no apparent mitigating factors.

The offence should be marked, even if the sentence is compassionate.

It does make me wonder about the point of zebra crossings, if in the case of Kim Briggs she can ignore one, step out into the road without looking properly and the cyclist she was struck by is jailed, but the fact she didn’t use it was not comment-worthy, and in this case it appears that it affords a pedestrian no protection either in reality or law.
2
Yanis Nayu - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to ian caton:

> Who needs courts? Let UKC decide.

So in a democratic country decisions of courts and the operation of the legal system is beyond discussion?

There is clearly a debate to be had about the way the legal system (hesitate to refer to it as a justice system) operates with respect to motoring offences.
6
john arran - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Quite understandable reaction. But what if she didn't do anything wrong? What if she took all reasonable steps to drive safely, and for reasons of perceptual failure well documented nowadays as being unavoidable and an inherent human weakness shared by us all, failed to see the pedestrian?

Comparisons with other offences are tempting too, but justice should not be relative, especially not to injustice!
Trangia on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> The point is how she could be found not guilty?

> Acoording to the deceased’s son, he was on the third stripe of the crossing. He was 91, so hardly likely to be sprinting out into the road after his ball was he?

Hold on! You are now intoducing factors you didn't disclose at the beginning of your debate. I've read your link three times now and unless I'm suffering from this not seeing syndrome, where did you get the information about him being "on the third stripe of the crossing" !?

This is what I meant about it being impossible to form any opinion if you didn't hear all the evidence in the court.
1
ian caton on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
> So in a democratic country decisions of courts and the operation of the legal system is beyond discussion?

Two different things. If she had been found guilty and then not fined or whatever there is something to discuss, otherwise none of my business

> There is clearly a debate to be had about the way the legal system (hesitate to refer to it as a justice system) operates with respect to motoring offences.

Is there?

Sorry I just loath this kangaroo court stuff.
Post edited at 08:57
wintertree - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to john arran:
> But what if she didn't do anything wrong?

What if she took all reasonable steps to drive safely, and for reasons of perceptual failure well documented nowadays as being unavoidable and an inherent human weakness shared by us all, failed to see the pedestrian?

Those flaws in vision are usually well addressed by moving your head about a bit and looking at an obvious hazard spot at more than one point in time as you approach.

I think passing a short assessed training session in human vision should be required before holding even a provisional driving licence. Without suitable training is it fair to criminalise those who fall foul of it? I want to say yes as thought basic good practice covers it (without ever explaining how or why to the drivers), but as a pedestrian and as a driver I’ve had a couple of there-but-the-grace-of-the-gods moments over the last 30 years and 22 years respectively, one since I started working on aspects of vision and perception...

When it comes to driver training and criminal prosecutions we are well into diminishing returns territory now; I think it is better to focous on improved driver aids (autonomous safety features) that will largely eliminate this sort of thing.
Post edited at 09:23
2
bleddynmawr - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

There is a point made in the piece that does not seem to be picked up on. He stepped onto a crossing from behind a tree. My thinking is that the highways agency or the council should be responsible for ensuring that the "waiting area" each side of any crossing is visible and unobscured.
Yanis Nayu - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

His son wrote it on Twitter.
5
Trevers - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to ian caton:

> Is there?

> Sorry I just loath this kangaroo court stuff.

Going off topic here but there is definitely a debate to be had about this. The jury is regarded as expert witnesses with a clear understanding of how a competent and careful driver should behave. Furthermore they're left to form an opinion of what constitutes "far below" that standard, and what is or isn't obviously dangerous. In reality, if they're a driver then chances are they're regularly in breach of the highway code and this creates empathy with the accused. It biases juries in a way that is unique to this area of law.

Regarding the case that is the subject of the thread:

> Local estate agent Faye Parsons-Hann said the road was 'completely clear' as Mr Sharma stepped on to the zebra crossing.
> She said: 'As he was getting to the crossing the car was getting to the junction.
> 'He began to make his way across the zebra crossing. The car began to pull into the high road towards the zebra crossing.
> 'As he was approaching the middle of the zebra crossing the car turned into the road.

(From a Daily Mail article)
1
Trangia on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

That's as may be, you didn't provide any other link in your OP, just the Newspaper article link.

Not very helpful eh? Trial by UKC

Was it given as evidence in the court hearing?
2
Dax H - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> The point is how she could be found not guilty?

> Acoording to the deceased’s son, he was on the third stripe of the crossing. He was 91, so hardly likely to be sprinting out into the road after his ball was he?

I don't know how she could be found not guilty but I also don't know how she could be found guilty either.
I am not privy to the evidence in this case nor were I in court.
Your original article says she was accelerating to 10mph in second gear, I would assume from this that she had either stopped and was re starting or slowed right down whilst someone was crossing.
Now you bring evidence (more like hearsay from a twitter post) that the guy was on the third stripe. If that is correct then I fail to see how if she had been paying even a tiny bit of attention to the road she could have missed him and she should have been found guilty of death by careless driving.

All we have to go on though is a news report and a twitter post and not the evidence that was presented to the judge who made the decision.
If it is a miscarriage of justice I would hope there will be an inquiry and the judge disbarred but that would come down to actual evidence and not random things posted on the Internet.
Lusk - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Trevers:

> The jury is regarded as expert witnesses with a clear understanding of how a competent and careful driver should behave.

Really?
My understanding of a jury is that it is 12 lay people who could have no expertise in anything.
It could be quite possible that none of them even drive, being in possession of a full driving licence isn't a requirement for a jury member, not when I did it anyway.
1
Trevers - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> Really?

> My understanding of a jury is that it is 12 lay people who could have no expertise in anything.

> It could be quite possible that none of them even drive, being in possession of a full driving licence isn't a requirement for a jury member, not when I did it anyway.

There's no requirement for the jurors to posses a driving license, nor am I aware there's been any suggestion that they should be, whether in motoring offences or not.

Driving is perceived as a normal thing, of which the jurors are likely to have experience, unlike operating any other heavy and potentially hazardous machinery. Fair enough. The assumption is that jurors are aware of the standard adhered to by a careful and competent driver (note that it's implicitly assumed that they are careful and competent) and capable of judging others to that standard without bias. No expert witness is called to guide their judgement.

More detail in this blog post here:
https://beyondthekerb.org.uk/an-obvious-problem/

(Other posts on this blog detail other cases where this assumption appears to have helped drivers get let off.)
2
Yanis Nayu - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Dax H:

There seems to be a misunderstanding that the judge makes the decision. It’s not the judge it’s the jury.
Dax H - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> There seems to be a misunderstanding that the judge makes the decision. It’s not the judge it’s the jury.

Normally if it's a jury decision it would say something like the jury deliberated for 3 hours before rendering their decision.
With no mention of a jury I assumed there wasn't one.

I'm not big on court proceedings, when my mate was killed there was no jury but that said the driver pleaded guilty so I suppose it wasn't needed.

If it was a jury though that means that 12 people who heard the evidence came to the conclusion that the driver was not guilty and that brings us back to my first post, they heard the evidence and not just a few things posted on the Internet.
Trevers - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Dax H:

The Daily Mail article I quoted from (I don't link to the DM but it's an easy google away) suggested she had just joined the high street turning left from a side road.
wercat on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
on a point of order, the jury may only make a finding on the facts while the judge determines the applicable law. In cases where there are no facts left to be determined the judge may direct the jury to their finding
Post edited at 20:26
Dax H - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Trevers:

> The Daily Mail article I quoted from (I don't link to the DM but it's an easy google away) suggested she had just joined the high street turning left from a side road.

I missed your post. Sounds like very bad road design if the car had only accelerated to 10 mph from turning in the junction to reaching the crossing, either she is the world's slowest driver or the crossing is very very close to the turning.
If the latter is the case her view of the old man may have been obstructed by cars front pillar.

So far we have 3 bits of info.
She was accelerating to 10 mph.
The old man was on the third stripe.
The old man was half way across and he reached the crossing as she reached the turning.
Next to no information compared to what would have been presented in court to 12 people who presumably found the driver not guilty.
gethin_allen on 07 Oct 2017

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