Vehicle as a murder weapon

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2018, 2:07pm

Dodson was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, drink-driving and assault by beating.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-46634713

Barks
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Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby Barks » 20 Dec 2018, 2:21pm

Judge Susan Evans QC said she accepted that Dodson, had tried to "frighten" and not kill.
- and I f the doorman had not managed to jump away from the car he most likely would have suffered much worse injuries or died. Why is it we constantly see defendants claiming they were not intent on killing when quite plainly their actions were highly lilkly to kill someone? The balance of justice is completely wrong in these cases.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2018, 2:25pm

Barks wrote:
Judge Susan Evans QC said she accepted that Dodson, had tried to "frighten" and not kill.
- and I f the doorman had not managed to jump away from the car he most likely would have suffered much worse injuries or died. Why is it we constantly see defendants claiming they were not intent on killing when quite plainly their actions were highly lilkly to kill someone? The balance of justice is completely wrong in these cases.


The case was tried by a jury and the verdict was not guilty of attempt murder. The judge saying that she accepted that the defendant had not tried to kill ensures that he cannot appeal by claiming he had been sentenced for the more serious charge on which he had been acquitted.

Barks
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Joined: 14 Oct 2016, 5:27pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby Barks » 20 Dec 2018, 2:38pm

Thank you, I can see that the Judge has to be seen to support the verdict, an interesting point you make on the possible appeal against sentencing. I suppose It comes across that if I drive my car at someone and they don’t get out of the way then it is their fault not mine they died. Perhaps just a more extreme version of victim blaming that we see with road incidents.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2018, 3:32pm

Barks wrote:Thank you, I can see that the Judge has to be seen to support the verdict, an interesting point you make on the possible appeal against sentencing. I suppose It comes across that if I drive my car at someone and they don’t get out of the way then it is their fault not mine they died. Perhaps just a more extreme version of victim blaming that we see with road incidents.


It depends on the evidence. If you look at the case I linked immediately before this one, the defendant was convicted of murder using the vehicle as the weapon and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 24 years.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-m ... r-46610269

Barks
Posts: 230
Joined: 14 Oct 2016, 5:27pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby Barks » 20 Dec 2018, 4:44pm

I accept the point on the evidence but the details are never available to us. What I struggle with is that two people, both in a drunken rage after an earlier altercation, purposely drive a car into people and in one case someone dies but not in the other yet the acts themselves appear to be identical in method and make contact with people. It just seems to my mind that the crime is the same just one outcome is less serious than the other. The two diffent levels of conviction feel so arbitrary that it undermines my confidence in the ability of our legal system, it seems just be a version of postcode or should I say jury lottery.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2018, 5:05pm

Barks wrote:I accept the point on the evidence but the details are never available to us. What I struggle with is that two people, both in a drunken rage after an earlier altercation, purposely drive a car into people and in one case someone dies but not in the other yet the acts themselves appear to be identical in method and make contact with people. It just seems to my mind that the crime is the same just one outcome is less serious than the other. The two diffent levels of conviction feel so arbitrary that it undermines my confidence in the ability of our legal system, it seems just be a version of postcode or should I say jury lottery. (My emphasis


Generally, media reports cover a couple of points that somebody found eye-catching. The days of crime reporters sitting in court taking shorthand copy are long gone. Then, if a case catches the headlines, there may be interviews outside court with one-sided versions from those involved. In even a very short trial, the jury will hear hours of evidence followed by submissions and the judge's summing up. And evidence means admissible evidence in accordance with the rules.

With serious charges, the defendant's intentions are always of equal importance to their actions, and over the years, the jury's ability to assume what the defendant was thinking has been curtailed. A lot will depend on what the suspect says when interviewed initially by the police. While two sets of actions may appear the same, the underlying thinking may be different (or may be presented as being different.)

Beyond that, nobody really knows much about the way juries reach their verdicts, but that's the system we have and no obvious prospect of change.

Barks
Posts: 230
Joined: 14 Oct 2016, 5:27pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby Barks » 21 Dec 2018, 12:43pm

Again thank you for your very considered and informed words, it definitely helps to ease my frustration with how lax our country is on people with violent temperaments. I suppose I am just too naive to think that deliberately driving my car at someone is not the same as trying to shoot or stab them. I’ll remember If I ever pull a gun out and shoot at someone I don’t like to remember to say to the Poilce at the initial interview that I was only trying to frighten the victim!

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Dec 2018, 1:04pm

I've posted about this a fair bit before. The obvious point is that there's no way of knowing somebody else's mind, but it's fundamental to our entire legal system eg it's why things like fraud are so hard to prove. You say "deliberately driving my car" but if you cannot prove it was accidental, at least say you didn't intend to kill anybody.

Formerly, a lot more assumptions could be made, perhaps the biggest being "implied malice." If somebody was killed, even accidentally, during the commission of a felony, then it was assumed they had "malice aforethought" - the mens rea for murder. It's more complicated now and the defendant's state of mind has to be proved. This is part of the reason why so many homicides end up as manslaughter through diminished responsibility.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jan 2019, 2:23pm

It seems to be the trend

Soldier hit by car outside TBC nightclub in Batley

The 21-year-old, who is serving with the British army, was struck by a blue Mercedes car outside the TBC club on Bradford Road, Batley, West Yorkshire.

Police said there was an altercation inside the venue that spilled outside.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-46735656

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jan 2019, 2:18pm

Gravesend nightclub attacker given 28-year sentence
Abdul, of Deptford, south-east London, was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court of two counts of attempted murder.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-46824330

Barks
Posts: 230
Joined: 14 Oct 2016, 5:27pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby Barks » 10 Jan 2019, 5:08pm

Dodson - white, ex-soldier gets 16 months for driving offence avoiding attempted murder conviction claiming he ‘only wanted to frighten the Club doorman’
Abdul - Black, on drugs gets 28 years for attempted murder claims he ‘only wanted to be a nuisance’

Background - both retaliated after earlier altercation in nightclub by driving a car at people.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28052
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Vehicle as a murder weapon

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Jan 2019, 5:30pm

Both defendants were tried for attempt murder; one was acquitted and the other convicted. We'll never know the reasons for the verdicts in either trial although it's open to speculation. The different convictions attracted different sentences.