"Breaking" news.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Feb 2012, 12:40pm

The law is an ass.

GBH, with a lethal weapon, should be treated appropriately severely
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

kwackers
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby kwackers » 17 Feb 2012, 1:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:When the late Gwynneth Dunwoody was the chair of the relevant parliamentary select committee, she was reported as having made the point that using a motor vehicle to commit murder might easily go undetected.

Given the number of times we read about events like this it'd be pretty foolish to assume that all such events were detected.

IME just minding your own business on a bike without trying to be confrontational can bring out the worst in some folk. Easy to imagine how some people might behave with a tiny bit of provocation and with no evidence who's to say what happened...

With regards the op though, I doubt he'll ever drive a bus (or any commercial vehicle) again.

fimm
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby fimm » 17 Feb 2012, 1:26pm

It is a horrible video.
I wonder if the bus driver would have been punished differently if he'd got out of his bus and punched the cyclist?

Elsewhere I've seen it suggested that if the driver really wanted to kill the cyclist, he could have driven the bus over him once he was on the ground. He didn't do that, hence not attempted murder, just GBH. At least he was charged with GBH.
Of course it's a race...

reohn2
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby reohn2 » 17 Feb 2012, 5:44pm

squeaker wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Where's the r/about incident,the CCTV footage starts with the bus very close to the cyclist.
Theres mention of the prior incident in the report but I can't see any footage.
Starts at about 30s into the BBC report. (I think it's the same cyclist.)
HTH


Yep got now.I was looking at the original link.
The cyclist is out of order at the r/about,as [XAP]Bob says a bit of thinkology when the bus moves across(indicating) if the cyclist would have dropped behind he would a free ride,no ticket required,but that doesn't excuse using the bus as a 10ton weapon :? .
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thirdcrank
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Feb 2012, 7:01pm

Some people seem to be attaching undue importance to the initial encounter on the roundabout, IMO. I cannot think of anything which would justify the subsequent driving for which the driver was convicted of causing GBH; if there is anything to be taken from events at the roundabout, it's that buses are bigger than cyclists.

With regard to the eventual side-swiping of the cyclist, buses are designed to be able to be steered virtually sideways eg, when moving away from an obstructed stop. (The front wheels are usually set really well back to permit this.) The driver appears to have intentionally used that manoeuvring capability to hit the cyclist. That footage is useful for a wider audience to see the risks of riding down the nearside of a bus eg if a driver were to see a passenger at a stop at the last minute and then sharply move back into the kerb.

Without a head-on camera, it's not easy to see the lane clearances, but it looks to me as though when the bus was first driven towards the middle of the road to overtake the cyclist, there would have been enough room for a following car driver or motorcyclist to begin to overtake the bus down its nearside. If so, they might easly have hit the cyclist as he was thrown violently sideways. I think it's often the case that cyclists and pedestrians who are knocked down in the carriageway sustain further serious injuries from being hit by following traffic, sometimes repeatedly. It's purely through good luck that the casualty wasn't killed.

Gang warily.

kwackers
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby kwackers » 17 Feb 2012, 7:07pm

thirdcrank wrote:Some people seem to be attaching undue importance to the initial encounter on the roundabout, IMO. I cannot think of anything which would justify the subsequent driving for which the driver was convicted of causing GBH; if there is anything to be taken from events at the roundabout, it's that buses are bigger than cyclists.

I'd argue that looking at the whole episode 'holistically' is useful, there are lessons in there.

The final outcome is obviously beyond doubt there should be no justification for what the driver did, but having accepted that don't you think there's something to be learned by looking at what went on before?

thirdcrank
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Feb 2012, 7:42pm

kwackers wrote: ... don't you think there's something to be learned by looking at what went on before?


As I said, the main thing is that buses are bigger than cyclists. While I've suffered being cut up and so on from bus drivers, both when I've been cycling and driving, I think they are entitled to a lot more consideration from other road users than they often get. I think it's sometimes the case that bus stops are positioned where it can be difficult for a driver leaving the stop the get safely to the correct lane. By coincidence, I've had a couple of instances recently when I've been travelling on a bus and observed this. We have a version of this on the infamous Armley gyratory roundabout which is partly signalised. There's no problem bus stop but a busy bus lane (including a frequent bendy-bus service) emerges from one of the unsignalised entries. The signals controlling the entry to an emerging driver's right have an ultra quick-change sequence to maximise capacity, with the result that there is rarely a gap sufficient for emerging drivers to get across to the second lane (where most, including all buses, want to be.) The inevitable result is that bus drivers drive into the first lane, immediately start signalling right and create their own gap. The people who "plan" these arrangements cannot be unaware of the result, but they presume that the rough and tumble will sort itself out.

I think it's worth remembering that a bus might be carrying in the order of a hundred passengers who are entitled to some consideration. People bleat that they are running half empty but part of the reason for that must be because they are stuck in queueing traffic. I'd support a more formal arrangement for giving priority to buses, but then I have a free bus pass.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Feb 2012, 9:22pm

Just to be absolutely clear.

The behaviour at the roundabout in no way justifies the behaviour shown in the "final" clip - for which the bus driver has been punished.

However, that second clip might not have happenned, and there are probbaly hundreds of roundabout incidents each week, they don't make the news because the 'second clip' situation never arises.

In my opinion the cyclist knowingly put themselves in a dangerous position, alongside a manoeuvring bus, at the roundabout - a fairly silly thing to do.. This escalated (and we don't see that) to the point where the bus driver decided to inflict serious injury with a 10ton weapon.

That decision is reprehensible, and has resulted in a jail term and a driving ban (unfortunately only temporary) as well as the loss of this particular mans chosen career (hopefully he stays out of public facing roles from now on)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby hubgearfreak » 17 Feb 2012, 9:23pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:17 months? A retest?
Why not a lifetime ban, as he is clearly unable to be trusted with a lethal weapon?


that's what'd have happened had i been the judge

Malaconotus
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby Malaconotus » 17 Feb 2012, 11:52pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Grievous bodily harm means "really serious bodily harm": DPP v Smith [1961] AC 290, HL; R v. Cunningham [1982] AC 566, HL; R v. Brown (A.) [1994] 1 AC 212, HL; R v. Brown and Stratton [1998] Crim LR 485, CA.
However, R v Saunders [1985] Crim LR 230, [1985] LS Gaz R 1005, allows "serious injury" as a sufficient direction to the jury. It is for the judge to decide whether the word "really" needs to be used in his direction to the jury: R v. Janjua and Choudhury [1999] 1 Cr.App.R. 91, The Times, 8 May 1998, CA (in this case, as a knife with a blade at least 5½ inches long had been used, it was not possible that something less than really serious harm was intended).

A bus is more dangerous than a 5 1/2 inch knife, hence section 18:
Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously by any means whatsoever wound or cause any grievous bodily harm to any person, . . . with intent, . . . to do some . . . grievous bodily harm to any person, or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any person, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable . . . to be kept in penal servitude for life . . .

(Quotes from Wikipedia GBH article)


I don't think that's the offence he was convicted of. A section 18 offence, GBH with intent, carries a maximum penalty of 25 years. The sentence of 17 months suggests the conviction is of the lesser section 20 offence of GBH which carries a maximum term of 5 years, and applies where there is no 'mens rea' or premeditation. The narrative about a "momentary lapse" also suggests this. However, IANAL.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Feb 2012, 8:12am

I agree that this isnt the crime of which he was convicted.

I suppose the difference is not in the danger of the bus/knife, but the fact the knife is only there for harm...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

northstar
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby northstar » 18 Feb 2012, 8:38am

Looking at the CCTV of the roundabout, the cyclist could have just let the bus driver in - it wouldn't have cost him much in time, if anything, as much as the bus driver was pushing in.

Still, no excuse for the actions outside the court, should have got longer.

thirdcrank
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Feb 2012, 8:52am

I wouldn't get too hung up over which version of GBH was charged. It's almost certainly section 20 (max impt 5 years.) Section 18 is harder to prove because in addition to the normal guilty intention needed with every crime, s 18 includes an intent to cause the GBH. As an aside, the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861, is the last survivor of the various landmark statutes passed in 1861. Malicious damage and theft have both been modernised in our time (or at least, in mine, because I had to forget the old stuff and learn the replacement.) The act has all sorts of things which are hard to understand. eg it created two separate offences of common assault (both now obsolete)ie s42 which could only be prosecuted privately by the victim and s 47 which created both indictable common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm both coming in at 5 years, in common with s 20. This act also created the offence of causing injury by furious driving.

The main point here IMO is that an appropriate charge has been used and has lead to conviction. Judges are constrained by sentencing guidelines. And the system does recognise that carrying a weapon implies premeditation. There's always a grey area if somebody has an otherwise innocent item like a jack handle under their car seat. I don't think anybody becomes a bus driver so they are "tooled up" for aggro.

Ricardo
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby Ricardo » 18 Feb 2012, 12:31pm

I don't ride in cities and I'm sure it'd scare me half to death, it is stressful enough driving in them! I do sometimes wonder that in anyone's daily commute they are always looking for ways to shave a few seconds here and there and might try snatching advantages where they can, with abrupt manoeuvres. On cycles I really don't see how it can be safe in such situations, and I'd always try to be in a safe place rather than the best/fastest place. Even a conscientious bus driver can collide with someone if they suddenly appear where they're not expected to be, their workloads are high and they can only monitor so much in vehicles with so many obstructions. I do wonder if urban cyclists can get habituated into some fairly risky situations because - as motorists do - nothing happens to them, and their perception of risk shifts, putting them closer to some tipping point all in the name of a fast commute, and up goes the stress level.

An incident I saw on Victoria Street in Brizzle, many years back highlighted just how wrong things can go, when I was wandering back to an office down at the other end of that street. Heard car revving sounds, looked over my shoulder towards the town centre to see a white flatbed truck and red hatchback being driven really madly. The truck was blocking the car by swerving side to side and they came down towards a ped crossing (Beleisha) where a Beemer had stopped in the outside lane to allow people to cross. The truck went to the inside lane and braked to a halt, and the driver of the red hatchback floored the gas and screamed blindly past into the outside lane, shunting the Beemer onto the crossing - nudging but not hurting the people walking in front of it. If the Beemer hadn't been hit, at least 3 people would have been killed, and all because of some stupid loss of perception about how important it was to cross a city - get past that truck, make a point, etc, since it was almost certainly about one person cutting the other off two roundabouts previously. The white flatbed drove off and the woman getting out of the red hatchback had nothing to show for it but a blameworthy accident that could have been infinitely worse. Its too easy to lose perspective on a regular run and find yourself surrounded by large machines, in danger, out of our depth.

I'm glad the bus "driver" got at least some sanction for his utterly stupid aggression that could so easily have killed the cyclist, but it highlighted for me just how much cities need to segregate the types of traffic. How that gets done in old cities such as the ones we have is a dilemma (always looks so easy in nice Dutch urban plans), but if we have to accept that we can lose perspective on regular runs (and we are all open to that whether we're in cars, on bikes, or driving buses) its surely better that the problems happen in places where there's similar size traffic - car-on-car, bike-on-bike.

I wonder if, in the stress of rush hour, prejudices against cyclists get heightened - there's certainly enough of that about in the less savoury parts of society.
Last edited by Ricardo on 18 Feb 2012, 12:57pm, edited 1 time in total.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: "Breaking" news.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Feb 2012, 12:44pm

The Dutch don't have it that easy, they've made it a priority.

They built for the motorcars after the war, then the people got motivated to claim the streets back.

It is easy to lose perspective, whatever your mode of transport.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.