Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.




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Monday, 5 December 2016

PROPOSED INCREASE IN SENTENCING FOR DRIVERS



In 2015, 122 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 21 convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence. Relevant sentences for driving offences  are as below:-


To quote from The Guardian,

"Dangerous drivers who kill are set to face life sentences under plans put forward by ministers. Those causing death by speeding, street racing or while using a mobile phone will face the same sentences as people charged with manslaughter.
Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs could also be handed life sentences – an increase on the current 14-year upper limit."

I really cannot perceive any basis for this proposed increase in sentencing except to pander to public opinion which IMHO is based upon ignorance and a desire of some newspapers to whip up that opinion.  

2 comments:

  1. When I saw this I thought 'here we go again'. They all seem to forget that any custodial sentence {other than those with a whole life tariff} will mean that convicts (good name that) will automatically be released halfway though the sentence albeit still being monitored by the probation service and must report when directed. So even in the worst of cases a guilty plea will attract a one third reduction which may still be reduced by the judge having heard mitigation. You could always lock 'em up and throw away the keys. That would be a very popular direction for some members of society IMHO.

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  2. I'm obliged to point out the case of Brian Hampton, the driver who piled right into the back of 16 year old moped rider Jade Clark in 2013, then chose to drive around her mangled body, leaving her to be finished off by following traffic.

    At the time, Hampton was serving a 26 month ban for drink driving and had fraudulently insured his car (and three others) in his wife's name.

    When he was finally caught, he went guilty to: causing death by careless driving; driving otherwise than in accordance with a license; driving without insurance; failure to stop after an accident; and failure to report an accident. He was sentenced to whopping two years custody for these driving offences[*].

    The Attorney General was petitioned to review the sentence, but declined. The villain Hampton then had the audacity to appeal on the basis that his sentence was too harsh.

    While verdicts like that are still fresh in my ignorant public mind, I'll not be inclined to accept that sentencing for road traffic offences is proportionate.

    [*] I consider only the driving part of the offences here.

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