A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

reohn2
Posts: 39825
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby reohn2 » 14 Aug 2020, 4:37pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Hit-and-run drunk driver who left victim for dead is spared jail... after offering to pay him £10,000


An engineer who left a father-to-be for dead in a hit-and-run crash after drinking lager and whisky with friends has been spared jail after he offered to pay the victim £10,000 damages. ... Andrews – who mentors British Aerospace recruits – had drunk three pints of lager and lemonade plus whisky before ploughing into Mr Ulhaq’s VW Passat while overtaking at up to 50mph. But he was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, after Judge Graeme Smith said he posed ‘no risk’ to the public. .... (Andrews) hid at a friend’s house before contacting police 12 hours later. He handed himself in four days after the smash – thereby avoiding a breath test. The father-of-two – who had a previous conviction for drink-drivingadmitted drinking in the run-up to the crash.


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... 0-000.html

Incredible! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Aug 2020, 5:04pm

As is so often the case, much more detail in the local rag. Here are some of the judge's sentencing remarks reported in Wigan Today

'This conduct is totally out of character for you as references say you are someone who is kind, honest, popular and helpful and someone who cares about people.

''This incident was possibly contributed to by the consumption of alcohol but we will simply never know that due your decision to leave the scene. You may have been close to or over the limit.

''However you have been very honest about this and have given a frank account of what you did consume on that night. I have heard what harm was caused to Mr Ulhaq who does not feel he’s been able to bond with his child but I know you are very deeply aware of these consequences to him.

''You have expressed remorse from day one and did that to the police and sent a letter of apology to the victim.

"You do not pose a risk to the public and are at a low risk of re-offending and are highly unlikely to trouble these courts again. I think you have more than learnt your lesson.''


https://www.wigantoday.net/news/crime/w ... im-2940771

Bearing in my that it's reported that the defendant went to ground for four days after the crash - a long time to sober up from any binge - I'm not clear when the judge's "day one" occurred. Did he communicate his remorse to the police when he contacted them from his hidey hole after 12 hours or was it actually day 5 ie when he surrendered?

This case really does seem to take remorse as a mitigating factor to a whole new level. It can't be long before muttering "SMIDSY" before scarpering results in an automatic absolute discharge

fastpedaller
Posts: 2576
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby fastpedaller » 22 Aug 2020, 4:17pm

Maybe putting him in jail wouldn't achieve anything, but surely his licence should have been taken away for a very long time!

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Aug 2020, 4:39pm

fastpedaller wrote:Maybe putting him in jail wouldn't achieve anything, but surely his licence should have been taken away for a very long time!


I was commenting on the judge's reasoning. Had he said something like "You are more value to society working than in jail" it would have been open to discussion, but the bits of the sentencing remarks I highlighted are bordering on irrational (With respect, Yer Honour)

fastpedaller
Posts: 2576
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby fastpedaller » 23 Aug 2020, 11:14am

thirdcrank wrote:
fastpedaller wrote:Maybe putting him in jail wouldn't achieve anything, but surely his licence should have been taken away for a very long time!


I was commenting on the judge's reasoning. Had he said something like "You are more value to society working than in jail" it would have been open to discussion, but the bits of the sentencing remarks I highlighted are bordering on irrational (With respect, Yer Honour)


Indeed. My thinking (which means nothing to the authorities of course) is for at least 10 years driving ban (perhaps more) with regular follow-up to establish the fellon isn't driving anyone's car. If found driving a car, said car is crushed or sold for proceeds to victims of crimes. Fellon goes to jail for 10 years (or whatever the ban was) - no questions or retrial. Anyone letting fellon 'borrow' their car will also suffer. Won't happen of course, law courts are too soft.

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Aug 2020, 11:48am

For the moment, the judiciary are bound by sentences prescribed in the relevant statutes and within those, by sentencing guidelines. In this case, there was bad driving leading to a serious crash from which the driver scarpered and didn't actually see the police for four days. The driver had a previous conviction for drink/driving and mitigation seems to have included that he had been drinking although the level of drinking could not be established after several days. The judge can only sentence him for things which have been proved or to which he has pleaded guilty. All ok, that's the rule of law, but he announced that the defendant posed no risk to the public. IMO, on the known facts he's a proven risk to the public and himself.

It does look as though the judge may have been thrown by the offer to pay the 10 grand to the injured party, which was probably conditional on a non-custodial sentence. IMO, it's a dangerous path to go down

Jdsk
Posts: 2501
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby Jdsk » 23 Aug 2020, 11:56am

thirdcrank wrote:The driver had a previous conviction for drink/driving and mitigation seems to have included that he had been drinking although the level of drinking could not be established after several days

Do you mean "mitigation"?

Jonathan

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Aug 2020, 12:44pm

Jdsk wrote: ... Do you mean "mitigation"? ...


Yes, although I can see that having a learned friend pop up and say you had been drinking is hardly a commendation. Before sentence is passed, either following a conviction or guilty plea, the lawyers address the court. The prosecution outlines the "facts" particularly following a guilty plea when there will have been no evidence and whatever is "known" about the defendant eg in this case a previous drink/drive conviction. The defence then mitigates. This can include just about anything that will reduce the sentence. In this case, the question of the driver having been drinking was a biggy so the mitigation was that he was under the limit. In the absence of evidence, that must stand. We may not have a full record of what the judge said because at some stage, staying hiddy for several days needed some explaining. I'm not going back to look but I think that it may have been said he was frightened. The judge is entitled to take a view on the mitigation and IMO in this case it should have been a dim one. In any event, going by what's been reported, there's nothing to support the view that the defendant poses no risk.

Jdsk
Posts: 2501
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby Jdsk » 23 Aug 2020, 2:25pm

Was that logic an attempt by the defence at mitigation or was it allowed by the judge in sentencing?

(I can't find the Sentencing Remarks.)

Thanks

Jonathan

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Aug 2020, 2:49pm

viewtopic.php?p=1518741#p1518741

In there, I've cut and pasted all that's reported of the sentencing remarks.

There's a link to Wigan Today in that post which I'll include again for convenience

https://www.wigantoday.net/news/crime/w ... im-2940771

Well-worth reading because it has the fullness of detail which was once the bread-and-butter of local newspaper court reporters.

There's also some detail about what was said in mitigation. (during "mitigation" ? )

fastpedaller
Posts: 2576
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby fastpedaller » 24 Aug 2020, 11:24am

Oh diddums, it was 'difficult' for him to say that he was a coward, and he 'didn't leave the victim' because there were other people at the scene. Should have thrown the book at him. Legal system failure IMHO

Jdsk
Posts: 2501
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby Jdsk » 25 Aug 2020, 5:07pm

I asked the court if the Sentencing Remarks or a transcript were available.

They aren't... but if I can justify the cause and pay they'll make a transcript.

Hmmmm...

Jonathan

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Aug 2020, 7:38pm

Jdsk wrote:I asked the court if the Sentencing Remarks or a transcript were available.

They aren't... but if I can justify the cause and pay they'll make a transcript. ...


I think you can trust the report by the local rag which seems to be the traditional type of court report which used to be the staple of local newspapers in particular a reporter taking shorthand notes of everything that's said. If you want to check, I'd suggest trying to contact the reporter through the paper. I think that the problems with getting something from the court are the cost of transcription into a readable form, then the need for the judge to agree it. Once upon a time, the official records were made by people using a machine which did a sort of mechanical shorthand. I think now it's more a case of tape-recording or possibly even something digital, but turning that into an official paper copy is labour intensive.

FWIW, I only remember one case where I had any involvement where it was a bit misleading. It was a Saturday morning court ie nobody working and in my capacity as duty officer at Leeds Bridewell I was prosecuting. The only business = opposed bail applications. One case involved a robbery in a jeweller's and for some reason the defence asked for reporting restrictions to be lifted so the press could report everything. Not much else going on so the report covered most of the front and back pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post. The suspects had been detained because the son of the proprietor had become suspicious and had ambushed them as they tried to scarper. This bit of the tale was split between the front and back pages. The suspicions of the son were on the front page and it continued on the back along the lines "..."Inspector Thirdcrank said he hid behind the door, then stopped the suspects from leaving..." Reading the sentence as a whole, it was obvious that "he" referred to the jeweller's son, but for a while, colleagues were asking about my big arrest. A lot of waffle to say I wouldn't have placed so much credence on the report if I did not trust that type of journalism. Remember, a local reporter is usually there every day, not like some national only turning up for the real big stories. They have to have the trust of the people in the system and that means doing things right.

Jdsk
Posts: 2501
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby Jdsk » 25 Aug 2020, 7:44pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think that the problems with getting something from the court are the cost of transcription into a readable form, then the need for the judge to agree it. Once upon a time, the official records were made by people using a machine which did a sort of mechanical shorthand. I think now it's more a case of tape-recording or possibly even something digital, but turning that into an official paper copy is labour intensive.

Rapid publication on the web of Sentencing Remarks, judges' notes and transcripts has been a great development.

I agree that coverage by local reporters is more likely to be unspun that that of many national channels, but there's nothing like the horse's mouth.

Jonathan

thirdcrank
Posts: 29481
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A place to record lenient sentencing for motorvehicle....

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Aug 2020, 8:04pm

I have absolutely no knowledge about the extent of official online court reporting. I'll guess that every word uttered in the Supreme Court is reported and that gets less further down the hierarchy. In the Crown Court there are different levels of judge. High Court Judges who used to be referred to as red judges are the only ones able to try murders and a few other types of case. Circuit judges are permanent judges and then there are recorders who are basically the barristers on the bottom rung. At that level there's a lot going on, most of it largely unnoticed and in spite of the job title unlikely to be routinely recorded and published. I think.