21 February 2013
Driving Offences Solicitor Paul Reddy on Careless Driving case
I recently read an article in The Sun entitled Ultimate forgiveness – victim’s widow saves killer driver from jail.
Firstly, I agree with the comments of the defence barrister in that the attitude of the widow is 'truly astonishing'. She clearly has empathy with the defendant, and she has seen the effect it has had on him and will continue to have on him for the rest of his life. The article says that he was weeping in the Court and I am sure he will be carrying this burden for the rest of his life.
It is worth mentioning that the widow's empathetic stance alone will not have been key to the defendant avoiding jail. In fact the sentencing guidelines generally suggest that a custodial sentence is not appropriate unless there is a high level of culpability and no aggravating factors.
Careless Driving is defined in law as driving at a standard that falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver. We are not informed of the full facts but I imagine that the allegation against the defendant was that if he was blinded by glare, he should have ceased driving or driven in a more cautious manner. Even a momentary lapse in attention can result in the loss of life, not necessarily yours, and it can affect many more lives.
Read more about Careless Driving.