Inconsistent sentencing

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james01
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Inconsistent sentencing

Postby james01 » 30 Mar 2013, 11:00am

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Bridg ... z2P0xIEasj

Appalling disregard for the safety of others, and by current standards a fairly severe punishment (although why anyone like this should ever be allowed behind the wheel again is a good question). Nobody actually hurt. Yet we hear almost weekly of cases of disgraceful driving often leading to fatal injuries where punishment is far more lenient. Will we ever achieve some kind of standardisation in sentencing? :?

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meic
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby meic » 30 Mar 2013, 11:08am

She nearly collided with a pedestrian. Cars are nearly colliding with pedestrians (and cyclists) all the time. What is more they frequently actually do clip pedestrians (and cyclists) and that is considered just "unlucky".

If nearly colliding with a pedestrian was routinely considered a crime the roads (pavements and cycle tracks) would be a much safer place.
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meic
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby meic » 30 Mar 2013, 11:13am

The Police Officer in charge must have a black sense of humour.

He added: “Drivers who willingly flout the law and place themselves and others in danger should be in no doubt that if caught doing so, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
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reohn2
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby reohn2 » 30 Mar 2013, 11:28am

meic wrote:The Police Officer in charge must have a black sense of humour.

He added: “Drivers who willingly flout the law and place themselves and others in danger should be in no doubt that if caught doing so, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”


That would be his world view and not reality,as we know.
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reohn2
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby reohn2 » 30 Mar 2013, 11:32am

Patricia Ann King, of Brook Vale, Pencoed, Bridgend, had denied dangerous driving but was found guilty following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.....................
................She then overtook a Ford pick-up truck which was waiting at the crossing and went on to weave through the barriers while the warning lights were flashing and the alarms sounding.
King almost struck a pedestrian who was crossing the road on the other side of the track, during the incident which happened around 11.30am on Friday, March 16, 2012.
Two passenger trains went through moments later.
One of the shocked people travelling inside the Ford pick-up described King’s driving as “reckless and extremely dangerous — it was total and utter stupidity.”
A signalman working at the Port Talbot signal box saw what happened via CCTV.
He went onto confirm Pencoed level crossing was fully operational and in perfect working order on the day of the incident.
King admitted to being the owner and driver of the silver Mercedes A-Class, and revealed she had been running late for an appointment.

IMO the harsher sentence was implimented,and rightly so IMO,because she didn't think she'd done anything wrong.Good result and a loonie removed from our roads.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Mar 2013, 12:40pm

The case was brought to court following an investigation by British Transport Police.


I suspect that part of the answer lies there.

The officer dealing with this will have had the time to gather every available bit of evidence of what has obviously been bad driving, with the potential for a Great Heck level of harm. He's also had available CCTV and and a the evidence of a reliable witness in the form of the signalman. On the other hand, he'll not have been trying to investigate this against the background prattle of a wireless operator wanting to know when he'll be coming free to deal with something else.

The BTP is funded and ultimately administered by the rail travel industry rather than the Home Office. Both the BTP and its backers have a common interest in trying to ensure that this sort of offending is properly prosecuted. Disregarding level crossings is also more widely seen as a "bad thing" in a way that disregarding pedestrian crossings isn't.

In the world of what is now called "Road Policing" they prioritise casualty reduction and generally concentrate only on KSI collisions. ie if nobody is killed or seriously injured it hardly matters.

james01
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby james01 » 30 Mar 2013, 1:48pm

Thirdcrank:
Thanks for this, it could be the explanation for the unusual diligence of the prosecutors compared with the woeful performance we often see.

reohn2
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby reohn2 » 30 Mar 2013, 2:40pm

james01 wrote:Thirdcrank:
Thanks for this, it could be the explanation for the unusual diligence of the prosecutors compared with the woeful performance we often see.

+1 it was something I must've missed it the linked article.
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Geriatrix
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby Geriatrix » 31 Mar 2013, 7:57am

meic wrote:She nearly collided with a pedestrian. Cars are nearly colliding with pedestrians (and cyclists) all the time. What is more they frequently actually do clip pedestrians (and cyclists) and that is considered just "unlucky".

If nearly colliding with a pedestrian was routinely considered a crime the roads (pavements and cycle tracks) would be a much safer place.

+1
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

thirdcrank
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Mar 2013, 10:07am

The BTP - in common with other non-Home Office police forces such as the MoD Police and whatever they call the private force guarding nuclear stuff - has a limited set of prioroties, largely defined by their ultimate employer, in this case the rail travel industry. It's the old matter of having world enough and time. Apart from having a narrowly defined remit, they generally have more scope to decide what they will deal with and what they will ignore. They also have the ability, when push comes to shove to call on the local police to deal with incidents, especially if it's something that hasn't happened on the railway track itself.

Compare that with your local police whose priorities are now set by all sorts of different bodies and people, with traffic enforcement never appearing on the list. There's generally something else more pressing ie higher up the list of priorities for attention.

I'd suggest that the Highway Agency's "Traffic Officer" scheme is the nearest thing to the BTP on the road network. It's still in its infancy, of course, but already the motorway signalling system has been removed from police control rooms. HA traffic officers have few police powers and those they do have are restricted to traffic control, but that frees them from the distraction of enforcement to concentrate on their employer's No1 priority of keeping the traffic moving.

In a similar way, keeping the trains moving is the BTP's priority, which is the main reason for paying so much attention to level crossing offences.

edit to add:

For anybody who doesn't get what I'm saying, I'll suggest that the evidence about the endangered pedestrian is something of a makeweight here: serious to many people but not the trigger for this prosecution.

I'll jump to the conclusion that this has been investigated following a report by the signalman about the level crossing barriers and traffic lights being ignored by the driver. I can only wonder if the endangered pedestrian would have been reported to the BTP if the crossing had been open to traffic. I fancy that if it had been reported, the BTP might well have notified the local police "for information and any action deemed necessary ....."

Vod
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby Vod » 31 Mar 2013, 12:30pm

It is taken seriously. On at least one occasion, CCTV footage has been used to track down and prosecute a cyclist who dodged round crossing barriers. My source is the offending cyclist. The police arrived at his front door a few days after the event.

thirdcrank
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Mar 2013, 4:58pm

Vod wrote:It is taken seriously. On at least one occasion, CCTV footage has been used to track down and prosecute a cyclist who dodged round crossing barriers. My source is the offending cyclist. The police arrived at his front door a few days after the event.


I'm not clear if you are agreeing with me or not. I'm saying that in the linked case, the BTP action was in response to the level crossing violation and their motivation was the potential disruption to the railway system it could cause.

The thread is about inconsistent sentencing. I suppose I'm making two points in that respect. The first is that courts can only act on the evidence presented and the BTP investigator has had the time to collate the evidence because it involves one of his force's main priorities. I also suspect that the total disregard of flashing lights and the descent of the barriers leaves little waggle room for mitigation. That gives it a seriousness that is missing from most of the cut-and-thrust on our roads.

reohn2
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby reohn2 » 31 Mar 2013, 6:29pm

thirdcrank wrote: I also suspect that the total disregard of flashing lights and the descent of the barriers leaves little waggle room for mitigation. That gives it a seriousness that is missing from most of the cut-and-thrust on our roads.

Not to mention that the perpetrator pleaded not guilty and claim she was late for an appointment :?
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Ant
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby Ant » 5 Apr 2013, 3:41pm

The judge should have their DNA extracted and injected directly into the brains of magistrates up and down the land. And level crossings should be installed at every major road junction... :lol:

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jezer
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Re: Inconsistent sentencing

Postby jezer » 5 Apr 2013, 3:52pm

reohn2 wrote:
thirdcrank wrote: I also suspect that the total disregard of flashing lights and the descent of the barriers leaves little waggle room for mitigation. That gives it a seriousness that is missing from most of the cut-and-thrust on our roads.

Not to mention that the perpetrator pleaded not guilty and claim she was late for an appointment :?

Ah, late for an appointment, so that's alright then. Getting her nails done perhaps :shock:
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