Woman receives suspended sentence & 12 month driving ban for causing death

The CTC's Road Justice site has updated their post on the death of Julian Evans, who was killed in October 2012 whilst riding a bike in Suffolk, with details of the sentencing of Deborah Lumley-Holmes, who was found guilty of causing Mr Evans death by careless driving. Lumley-Holmes was found to have to have hit Mr Evans on a straight road in daylight.

Lumley-Holmes received a 6 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 200 hours community service and was banned from driving for 12 months. As I said at the time when the offence of causing death by careless driving was put on the books, I have no interest in seeing drivers that have caused death in jail. However, I am very concerned that Lumley-Holmes has received only the statutory minimum driving ban allowable under the sentencing guidelines for causing death by careless driving.

And, by the way, without seeing more than the barest details of the incident, I am astonished that Lumley-Holmes' driving was NOT considered far below what would be expected of a careful and competent driver in the view of the prosecutors, and therefore was not charged with causing death by dangerous driving. Failing to see another human being in daylight & inadvertently striking them with enough force to kill them is surely not the action of a careful & competent driver.

The sentence of Lumley-Holmes and comments by the judge in his sentencing, are remarkably similar to the case of Lee Cahill, who caused the death of Rob Jeffries, an outstanding man, coach, community leader and personal friend, who was hit from behind in daylight on a straight road by a car driven by Lee Cahill. Same expressions of remorse, same suggestions that the crash was caused by a momentary lapse and a slightly longer driving ban of 18 months.

Such incredibly, well, incredible to me, short driving bans outrage me, because of the implicit message contained. My interpretation is that not being able to drive is such an impediment that even after having completely failed in the most basic duty, that of respecting the safety of other people that are sharing a public space to the fullest extent possible, i.e. by negligence having caused the death of another person, that the offenders should nontheless continue to be permitted the right to operate heavy machinery in close proximity to other people. The message is that driving a motor vehicle is an absolute right, rather than a privilege available only to those people with enough money to be able to afford it.

 

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3 comments
  1. Reblogged this on A Road Travelled Twice and commented:
    Courts really need to take cyclist-killing more seriously.

    Like this

  2. rdrf said:

    Basically in agreement until the last sentence.

    I don’t understand ” a privilege available only to those people with enough money to be able to afford it.”

    Surely it is – or should be – a privilege (or similar) for those with the willingness to obey the relevant regulations , specifically with regard to the potential to hurt or kill other people? Money doesn’t enter into it (it is affordable for most anyway) or shouldn’t.

    My view is: We don’t want to concentrate too much on what happens when the worst has come to the worst, and I don’t think we should spend too much time spending typical offenders to prison. but the message sent out by lenient s entencing is an impediment to moving towards amore civilised society.

    Like this

    • “Surely it is – or should be – a privilege (or similar) for those with the willingness to obey the relevant regulations , specifically with regard to the potential to hurt or kill other people? Money doesn’t enter into it (it is affordable for most anyway) or shouldn’t.”

      I agree with you that the privilege of operating heavy machinery in close proximity to the non-driving public should only be permitted to those that are competent & have shown themselves willing to respect other road-users safety. I don’t agree that it is affordable for most – plenty of people can’t afford it – I would suggest that a substantial minority can’t, certainly in London. A large minority can’t for reasons of age or health.

      Like this

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