Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

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Vorpal
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby Vorpal » 20 Mar 2015, 2:48pm

Bicycler wrote:Re: the helmet issue and its (ir)relevance. I have no idea what is acceptable in criminal trials. Could someone shed some light? Would the defence be allowed to argue that someone is not guilty of causing death by ..... driving because the deceased ought to have worn something which would have prevented the collision from resulting in his death? If that would be permissible then, given that everyone knows how helmets save lives, it is not as irrelevant to a successful prosecution as we might want it to be.

I think it's quite easy to show that a helmet is irrelevant as a cause in the accident. It might not be considered irrelevant in whether the victim died. However, the few times that insurance companies have tried to reduce compensation on this basis, in UK courts, it has not, that I am aware, been allowed. That's not to say it won't ever be, but thus far it has not been.
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Bicycler
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby Bicycler » 20 Mar 2015, 3:23pm

Tony, I agree. I am just trying to establish whether the helmet issue would be an admissible (not acceptable) line of defence. Vorpal, thanks, I am aware of the contributory negligence issue regarding compensation. I want to ascertain whether it is possible to defend against criminal "causing death by..." charge on the grounds that the deceased ought to have worn some equipment which would have avoided death from occurring. We may know that not wearing a helmet is, in reality, an irrelevance but juries know that helmets save lives. If the defence may make that argument, it might not be an irrelevance as far as the chances of prosecution are concerned. Bear in mind that the level of proof is "beyond reasonable doubt" rather than merely a balance of probabilities.

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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby niggle » 20 Mar 2015, 4:05pm

Surely the lack of helmet has nothing to do with a criminal case against the driver and the case is whether the driving of the driver was negligent and led to the collision which caused the death. The cyclist not wearing a helmet has no effect on the likelihood of a collision therefore surely has no relevance to the culpability or otherwise of either party.

The police response also refers to the notion that Mr Mason's rear light could be lost amongst the numerous other lights in the driver's view, but if you cannot see clearly enough to spot a legally lit vehicle you cannot be sure of not hitting one, so surely it is negligent to continue to drive along the road.

EDIT: if criminal cases can be overturned by arguing that the victim could have worn something protective to avoid their death (but hey what about pedetrians?), the next argument could be failure to wear a car... in fact I think that is the real unspoken reasoning behind many unjust results in the courts

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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby Bicycler » 20 Mar 2015, 4:27pm

niggle wrote:Surely the lack of helmet has nothing to do with a criminal case against the driver and the case is whether the driving of the driver was negligent and led to the collision which caused the death. The cyclist not wearing a helmet has no effect on the likelihood of a collision therefore surely has no relevance to the culpability or otherwise of either party.

I'd like to think you are right but I am trying to ascertain for certain. There is a thought in my mind that if the difference between careless driving and causing death by careless driving is somebody's death then any behaviour of the deceased which might have affected the outcome might be relevant. I am sure this will have come up in previous cases (maybe not specifically in relation to helmets), so someone should be able to give an answer

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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby reohn2 » 20 Mar 2015, 5:21pm

AlaninWales
Spot on IMO.someone drives a car into the back of another vehicle that conforms to all necessary legality's and is regarded as blameless is a travesty pure and simple.

Tonyf33
Spot on,whether he was or wasn't wearing a helmet has nothing at all to do with anything in this or any other case as it's perfectly legal to ride without.

IMHO,this is yet another victim blaming exercise to literally drive cyclists off the roads.
If this woman had driven into a pedestrian in the same place under the same circumstances there'd be a hue and cry if she wasn't prosecuted.
Sickening doesn't begin to describe the way the law treats cyclists legally using the roads in the UK today.
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tyreon
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby tyreon » 20 Mar 2015, 5:51pm

This is a maybe...
Mr Mason. Who is/was this this man. Retired. Commonman? Probably. Expendable? Negligeable? Mmmmmm...What if Mr mason had been Boris Johnson,or some Big Wig with connections? Prince Harry? Same decision made? I'm thinking of the child abuse cases recently reported. Young working-class girls,and boys...abandoned. Who cares about 'em? Well,now,yes,probably. But in the scheme of things your standing,class,money,status determines whether action may be taken to see some semblance of justice addressed.
Now look at the car driver. I know nothing about the lady. But behind the scenes,one never knows how things are,how the decision to prosecute or not goes ahead. Unconscious or conscious influences influence(if this makes sense). By grass-hopper thinking I'm thinking about Cyril Smith. I guess what I am saying is justice is variable...and is bought. Not in all cases. But in some. Status of the victim,staus of the accused,the hidden and the subliminal facts can and do influence outcomes.

From personal experience. The chicanery of powerful lawyers and a nodding adjudicator bullied me to a disgusted silence. It must happen to thousands. Tens of thousands. The monied and the powerful get some show of justice. Those at the bottom of the Top Table get crumbs - if lucky.

I still feel frightened even to make this comment+++ Judicial fair play? Yer havin a larf!

reohn2
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby reohn2 » 20 Mar 2015, 5:52pm

If anyone is in any doubt about what cyclists are up against in the UK today:- http://www.kentonline.co.uk/deal/news/v ... ing-33772/
Please read the first comment at the foot of the article.
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tyreon
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby tyreon » 20 Mar 2015, 6:03pm

Reohn2. Now look if that cyclist had attended some well known public school,had a 'promising future'...all the good stuff and as extolled by some well paid solicitor. Same verdict? It's all in the presentation and how that victim was portrayed. ell presented case,monied young man mown down...a different verdict?

reohn2
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby reohn2 » 20 Mar 2015, 6:40pm

tyreon wrote:Reohn2. Now look if that cyclist had attended some well known public school,had a 'promising future'...all the good stuff and as extolled by some well paid solicitor. Same verdict? It's all in the presentation and how that victim was portrayed. ell presented case,monied young man mown down...a different verdict?


It wouldn't surprise me in the least :?
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beardy
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby beardy » 20 Mar 2015, 10:05pm

tyreon wrote:Reohn2. Now look if that cyclist had attended some well known public school,had a 'promising future'...all the good stuff and as extolled by some well paid solicitor. Same verdict? It's all in the presentation and how that victim was portrayed. ell presented case,monied young man mown down...a different verdict?


I seem to recall an Army Major and Afghanistan "war hero" was taken out by a lorry and the usual zero or token penalty was handed out.

reohn2
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby reohn2 » 21 Mar 2015, 8:36am

beardy wrote:
tyreon wrote:Reohn2. Now look if that cyclist had attended some well known public school,had a 'promising future'...all the good stuff and as extolled by some well paid solicitor. Same verdict? It's all in the presentation and how that victim was portrayed. ell presented case,monied young man mown down...a different verdict?


I seem to recall an Army Major and Afghanistan "war hero" was taken out by a lorry and the usual zero or token penalty was handed out.


Perhaps he didn't have friends in high places or Mason's lodge's
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SA_SA_SA
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby SA_SA_SA » 22 Mar 2015, 12:56pm

Leaving aside that the hi-viz issue is irrelevant and shouldn't have been mentioned by the police:

surely even mentioning hi-viz is incorrect: the flourescent part needs UV of which there is little at night, so only the reflective part is of interest, so the police didn't even get that right: it is is only the white/silver reflective part that is important at night so that is all that should be mentioned in respect of night time extra and optional safety equipment. Also, I don't think yellow/orange is a that good a colour at night.


Just to make clear, again I think the police were wrong to use hi-viz as an excuse for not sending a file to the CPS: I am just pointing out that even their wrongness is further wrong :( .
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby snibgo » 22 Mar 2015, 1:43pm

Bicycler wrote:Re: the helmet issue and its (ir)relevance. I have no idea what is acceptable in criminal trials. Could someone shed some light? Would the defence be allowed to argue that someone is not guilty of causing death by ..... driving because the deceased ought to have worn something which would have prevented the collision from resulting in his death? If that would be permissible then, given that everyone knows how helmets save lives, it is not as irrelevant to a successful prosecution as we might want it to be.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think there is a principle of taking the victim as he was found (or some similar wording). If the death was caused by a head injury that was caused by being knocked off by a car dangerously driving into him, then that is the cause. Even if a helmet would have prevented the death, in no way would the lack of helmet be a cause of death.

I would look for case law around seatbelts. I suppose there are cases of successful prosecution of death by dangerous driving even when the victim was (illegally) not wearing a seatbelt. One possible example: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1897922.0/?cid=873816

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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby Vorpal » 22 Mar 2015, 3:57pm

If it could be shown that the driver was driving dangerously, or carelessly, it would still have to be shown that this was the cause of death. That may be obvious to the folks on this forum, but I think that there is at least a possibility that jury could believe otherwise.

If the victim's family had legal advice from someone competent, I think it would be relatively easy to show that a helmet offered little protection. If, on the other hand, those involved were no knowlegeable about such things, I can foresee the possibility a driver could be found not guilty on that basis. Not because it was certain, but because there was a reasonable doubt.
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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

Postby gaz » 22 Mar 2015, 4:06pm

For 2014 a Peugeot 301 has a Euro NCAP rating of 54% for pedestrian safety. A Citreon C4 Cactus has a 80% rating. So if a pedestrian dies in collision with a Peugeot 301 is the driver more likely to be guilty because he increased the chances of that outcome by not choosing a safer vehicle to drive?

The CdF have an article library where a number of issues relating to helmet wearing/non-wearing are discussed.
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