Serial killer gets off lightly

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Lardy Ninja, Jan 31, 2003.

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  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

  2. Greetings,

    this is a case where the sentence was far too lenient. At the moment, the power of a Home Secretary
    to impose a sentence beyond that meted out by the court is being seriously challenged under the
    European Human Rights Act. If ever there was a case to increase a sentence, I think this is it.

    I just hope the family manage to get some sort of closure in this matter, and wish them the best.

    T.T.F.N.

    SPENNY

    "lardy ninja" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Words fail me...
    >
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2712409.stm
    >
    > LN
     
  3. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Spencer Bullen
    <[email protected]> writes
    >
    >this is a case where the sentence was far too lenient.

    While I would like to see much higher sentences for such cases, this is in fact almost the maximum
    sentence that can given by the courts for CDBDD - which is 10 years IIRC.

    >At the moment, the power of a Home Secretary to impose a sentence beyond that meted out by the
    >court is being seriously challenged under the European Human Rights Act.

    Indeed it is, and a good thing too, but AIUI, the HS only has the right to do that anyway is certain
    cases , I don't think it would apply here.

    The real issue is that then maximum sentences available to the courts for CDBD are just to low, but
    it is up to the government to change this. The same applies to the issue of sentences for careless
    driving, esp when someone has been killed - the sentences for this offence are lower still, the real
    problem is there is a bit of a loophole because to be convicted of CDBDD the driver has to be shown
    to be *deliberately* driving dangerously. If they can't be shown to be doing that - and in many
    cases they can't then they will be charged with careless driving, even if convicted the courts
    abilities to give a suitable sentence is constrained by law.

    A new offence of Causing death by careless driving has been mooted but nothing has happened yet.
    This was all being considered by the home office a few years ago IIRC, but nothing seems to have
    come of it.
    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  4. "Spencer Bullen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings,
    >
    > this is a case where the sentence was far too lenient. At the moment, the power of a Home
    > Secretary to impose a sentence beyond that meted out by
    the
    > court is being seriously challenged under the European Human Rights Act.
    If
    > ever there was a case to increase a sentence, I think this is it.
    >
    > I just hope the family manage to get some sort of closure in this matter, and wish them the best.
    >
    > T.T.F.N.
    >
    > SPENNY
    >
    What case? And for the interest of clarity could you please define your definition of serial killer
    in this instance.
     
  5. Greetings,

    apologies for cross posting, but the original title of "Serial killer" refers to the case whereby
    this is his second conviction for death by dangerous driving. As noted above, 10 years is the
    maximum sentence for this offence, and he received 9 1/2. However, the car in question was stolen,
    he was banned for life from driving, made off from the accident, etc, and all other offences were
    either given no separate penalty, or concurrent sentences. The maximum sentence possible if
    consecutive sentences were imposed, which was in the power of the court, would have been closer to
    15 years. As it is, assuming the normal discounts for good behaviour, automatic parole, and
    continuing prison over-crowding and whatever early release scheme happens along at the time, this
    career criminal who killed a young child, the second he had killed whilst driving a stolen car, can
    realistically look at no more then 6 years inside, minus any time on remand. Whether this acts a
    suitable deterrent/period of rehabilitation is IMHO very dubious.

    T.T.F.N.

    SPENNY

    "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Spencer Bullen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Greetings,
    > >
    > > this is a case where the sentence was far too lenient. At the moment,
    the
    > > power of a Home Secretary to impose a sentence beyond that meted out by
    > the
    > > court is being seriously challenged under the European Human Rights Act.
    > If
    > > ever there was a case to increase a sentence, I think this is it.
    > >
    > > I just hope the family manage to get some sort of closure in this
    matter,
    > > and wish them the best.
    > >
    > > T.T.F.N.
    > >
    > > SPENNY
    > >
    > What case? And for the interest of clarity could you please define your definition of serial
    > killer in this instance.
     
  6. "Spencer Bullen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings,
    >
    > apologies for cross posting, but the original title of "Serial killer" refers to the case whereby
    > this is his second conviction for death by dangerous driving. As noted above, 10 years is the
    > maximum sentence for this offence, and he received 9 1/2. However, the car in question was stolen,
    > he was banned for life from driving, made off from the accident, etc, and all other offences were
    > either given no separate penalty, or concurrent sentences. The maximum sentence possible if
    > consecutive sentences were imposed, which was in the power of the court, would have
    been
    > closer to 15 years. As it is, assuming the normal discounts for good behaviour, automatic parole,
    > and continuing prison over-crowding and whatever early release scheme happens along at the time,
    > this career criminal who killed a young child, the second he had killed whilst driving
    a
    > stolen car, can realistically look at no more then 6 years inside, minus
    any
    > time on remand. Whether this acts a suitable deterrent/period of rehabilitation is IMHO very
    > dubious.
    >
    > T.T.F.N.
    >
    > SPENNY
    >
    It is widely thought that to be classed as a serial killer then there must have been acts of
    premeditated/intentional killings on at least four occasions. Also for a conviction of murder it has
    to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there was intent to kill. I could be wrong but I don't
    think driving offences usually come into that category, unless there was of course intention to
    cause death by reckless driving. And for this to happen I would imagine it would have to be in such
    dire circumstances whereby the driver had planned to mow someone down and kill them?
     
  7. In message <[email protected]>, "[email protected]"
    <[email protected]> writes
    >It is widely thought that to be classed as a serial killer then there must have been acts of
    >premeditated/intentional killings on at least four occasions. Also for a conviction of murder it
    >has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there was intent to kill. I could be wrong but I
    >don't think driving offences usually come into that category, unless there was of course intention
    >to cause death by reckless driving. And for this to happen I would imagine it would have to be in
    >such dire circumstances whereby the driver had planned to mow someone down and kill them?

    Having said that, this guy has already killed twice, and unless something remarkable happens to him
    during his six years in prison, there is every reason to believe he will kill again.

    Our laws relating to causing death on the roads are too lenient. This case demonstrates that a life
    sentence should be available to the Court on a second separate conviction of causing death by
    dangerous driving (ie it wouldn't apply to one incident causing multiple deaths, but it would apply
    to a second separate incident also causing death).

    I also think that any charge of causing death through careless or dangerous while driving over the
    legal alcohol limit ought automatically to be charged as manslaughter. I think as a society we have
    now reached the stage when everyone knows full well that in driving over the limit they are risking
    killing someone; they should be punished appropriately if they decide to run that risk.
    --
    Richard Miller
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Richard Miller
    <[email protected]> writes
    >I also think that any charge of causing death through careless or dangerous while driving over the
    >legal alcohol limit ought automatically to be charged as manslaughter. I think as a society we have
    >now reached the stage when everyone knows full well that in driving over the limit they are risking
    >killing someone; they should be punished appropriately if they decide to run that risk.

    ISTR reading somewhere that the offence of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving was introduced because
    juries were (or thought to be) reluctant to convict on manslaughter. It's only recently (8years?)
    that the maximum penalty for CDbyDD was increased from 5 years to 10 which is still less than that
    for manslaughter. If all deaths caused by dangerous driving were charged as manslaughter the judge
    would have a greater range of sentencing powers.
    --
    Mike
     
  9. "Richard Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In message <[email protected]>, "[email protected]"
    > <[email protected]> writes Having said that, this guy has already killed twice, and
    > unless something remarkable happens to him during his six years in prison, there is every reason
    > to believe he will kill again.

    Absolutely. But I would think that without some sort of permenant tracking on this guy, there will
    be no way he can be controlled other than by lengthy prison sentences.

    I see this all the time, banned drivers getting behind the wheel of a car. Unless they are caught
    behind the wheel theres nothing to stop them.

    >
    > Our laws relating to causing death on the roads are too lenient.

    Oh yes definately.

    This
    > case demonstrates that a life sentence should be available to the Court on a second separate
    > conviction of causing death by dangerous driving (ie it wouldn't apply to one incident causing
    > multiple deaths, but it would apply to a second separate incident also causing death).

    >
    > I also think that any charge of causing death through careless or dangerous while driving over the
    > legal alcohol limit ought automatically to be charged as manslaughter.

    Now this is what i think should satisfy the requirement of premeditation and necessary intent. The
    laws are stringent enough for all drivers to be aware of the consequences of drink driving etc.

    I think as a society we have now reached
    > the stage when everyone knows full well that in driving over the limit they are risking killing
    > someone; they should be punished appropriately if they decide to run that risk.

    As above. But not just as appropriately but also immediately.
    > --
    > Richard Miller
     
  10. Bigbrian

    Bigbrian Guest

    On Sun, 2 Feb 2003 09:24:19 +0000, Richard Miller <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In message <[email protected]>, "[email protected]"
    ><[email protected]> writes
    >>It is widely thought that to be classed as a serial killer then there must have been acts of
    >>premeditated/intentional killings on at least four occasions. Also for a conviction of murder it
    >>has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there was intent to kill. I could be wrong but I
    >>don't think driving offences usually come into that category, unless there was of course intention
    >>to cause death by reckless driving. And for this to happen I would imagine it would have to be in
    >>such dire circumstances whereby the driver had planned to mow someone down and kill them?
    >
    >Having said that, this guy has already killed twice, and unless something remarkable happens to him
    >during his six years in prison, there is every reason to believe he will kill again.
    >
    >Our laws relating to causing death on the roads are too lenient. This case demonstrates that a life
    >sentence should be available to the Court on a second separate conviction of causing death by
    >dangerous driving (ie it wouldn't apply to one incident causing multiple deaths, but it would apply
    >to a second separate incident also causing death).
    >
    >I also think that any charge of causing death through careless or dangerous while driving over the
    >legal alcohol limit ought automatically to be charged as manslaughter. I think as a society we have
    >now reached the stage when everyone knows full well that in driving over the limit they are risking
    >killing someone; they should be punished appropriately if they decide to run that risk.

    Even given the current sentencing limits, you have to wonder what was in the judge's mind that made
    him decide not to impose the maximum sentence available. I mean, if ths guy doesn't qualify, just
    what do you have to do to get the maximum sentence?

    Brian
     
  11. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 19:59:21 +0000, bigbrian <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Even given the current sentencing limits, you have to wonder what was in the judge's mind that made
    >him decide not to impose the maximum sentence available. I mean, if ths guy doesn't qualify, just
    >what do you have to do to get the maximum sentence?
    >

    Brian

    I understand that the judge gave the guilty man a slight benefit (six months) for pleading guilty
    even though he apparently had shown no remorse when being interviewed by the police.

    James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     
  12. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 20:22:14 +0000, James Hodson <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I understand that the judge gave the guilty man a slight benefit (six months) for pleading guilty
    >even though he apparently had shown no remorse when being interviewed by the police.

    There is usually a discount for a prompt guilty plea.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  13. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    bigbrian <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Even given the current sentencing limits, you have to wonder what was in the judge's mind that
    > made him decide not to impose the maximum sentence available. I mean, if ths guy doesn't qualify,
    > just what do you have to do to get the maximum sentence?

    Well he's got to have something in reserve for when this guy gets out of prison and kills a third
    person, while banned, drunk and driving an uninsured stolen car above the speed limit with bald
    tyres, faulty headlights and an illegal font on the number plate. Presumably that will be worth 9
    3/4 years.

    James
     
  14. Keith

    Keith Guest

    "Richard Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In message <[email protected]>, "[email protected]"
    > <[email protected]> writes
    > >It is widely thought that to be classed as a serial killer then there must have been acts of
    > >premeditated/intentional killings on at least four occasions. Also for a conviction of murder it
    > >has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there was intent to kill. I could be wrong but I
    > >don't think driving offences usually come into that category, unless there was of course
    > >intention to cause death by reckless driving. And for this to happen I would imagine it would
    > >have to be in such dire circumstances whereby the driver had planned to mow someone down and
    > >kill them?
    >
    > Having said that, this guy has already killed twice, and unless something remarkable happens to
    > him during his six years in prison, there is every reason to believe he will kill again.
    >
    > Our laws relating to causing death on the roads are too lenient. This case demonstrates that a
    > life sentence should be available to the Court on a second separate conviction of causing death by
    > dangerous driving (ie it wouldn't apply to one incident causing multiple deaths, but it would
    > apply to a second separate incident also causing death).
    >
    > I also think that any charge of causing death through careless or dangerous while driving over the
    > legal alcohol limit ought automatically to be charged as manslaughter. I think as a society we
    > have now reached the stage when everyone knows full well that in driving over the limit they are
    > risking killing someone; they should be punished appropriately if they decide to run that risk.
    > --
    > Richard Miller

    Is there not already an offence of Motor Manslaughter Contrary to Common Law as an alternative to
    Death by Dangerous.

    Nook
     
  15. John O

    John O Guest

    "Richard Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In message <[email protected]>, "[email protected]"
    > <[email protected]> writes
    > >It is widely thought that to be classed as a serial killer then there must have been acts of
    > >premeditated/intentional killings on at least four occasions. Also for a conviction of murder it
    > >has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that there was intent to kill. I could be wrong but I
    > >don't think driving offences usually come into that category, unless there was of course
    > >intention to cause death by reckless driving. And for this to happen I would imagine it would
    > >have to be in such dire circumstances whereby the driver had planned to mow someone down and
    > >kill them?
    >
    > Having said that, this guy has already killed twice, and unless something remarkable happens to
    > him during his six years in prison, there is every reason to believe he will kill again.
    >
    > Our laws relating to causing death on the roads are too lenient.

    Not really: as you may yourself have observed in the past, hard cases make bad law.

    >This case demonstrates that a life sentence should be available to the Court on a second separate
    >conviction of causing death by dangerous driving (ie it wouldn't apply to one incident causing
    >multiple deaths, but it would apply to a second separate incident also causing death).
    >
    > I also think that any charge of causing death through careless or dangerous while driving over the
    > legal alcohol limit ought automatically to be charged as manslaughter. I think as a society we
    > have now reached the stage when everyone knows full well that in driving over the limit they are
    > risking killing someone; they should be punished appropriately if they decide to run that risk.

    That may well be the case. I was interested enough in this subject to research it a little a few
    months back.

    It was, of course, originally the case that the charges open to the prosecution were murder or
    manslaughter - and I found one early 20th century case where death by dangerous driving was
    effectively prosecuted as murder. Defence attempted to plead the fact that the victim was blind as
    mitigation - court not interested.

    Then we had DbDD, because as we came up to the end of the 20th century, it was felt that juries
    would not convict on even a manslaughter charge - so we had to have the 'lesser' offence in order to
    get convictions.

    And more recently, debate from the direction of senior judges as to whether we should not have,
    effectively, four degrees of homicide - because the current set up, with mandatory life for murder
    was also too restrictive.

    Personally, I would agree with you on the point about sentence being too lenient - and would like to
    see judges having a longer sentence available. But you have to admit that it would be very rarely
    used. The outcry here is to do with the rarety of the event.

    I also wonder why the Prosecution could NOT have tried for a greater charge: given the perpetrator's
    past record, I would have thought manslaughter could have been attempted.

    > --
    > Richard Miller
     
  16. Bigbrian

    Bigbrian Guest

    On Mon, 3 Feb 2003 11:19:00 -0000, "John O" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >And more recently, debate from the direction of senior judges as to whether we should not have,
    >effectively, four degrees of homicide - because the current set up, with mandatory life for murder
    >was also too restrictive.
    >
    >Personally, I would agree with you on the point about sentence being too lenient - and would like
    >to see judges having a longer sentence available. But you have to admit that it would be very
    >rarely used. The outcry here is to do with the rarety of the event.
    >
    >I also wonder why the Prosecution could NOT have tried for a greater charge: given the
    >perpetrator's past record, I would have thought manslaughter could have been attempted.
    >
    Presumably to avoid the risk of an acquittal?

    Presumably in any DbDD case, there's nothing to stop a charge of manslaughter anyway? Just because
    there's a lesser charge available, doesn't oblige the police to use it - or does it?

    Brian
     
  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    John O wrote:

    > "Richard Miller" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> Our laws relating to causing death on the roads are too lenient.
    > Not really: as you may yourself have observed in the past, hard cases make bad law.

    I think they *are* too lenient - they were specifically made *more* lenient so juries (of motorists)
    would convict.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    James Annan wrote:

    >> Even given the current sentencing limits, you have to wonder what was in the judge's mind that
    >> made him decide not to impose the maximum sentence available.

    > Well he's got to have something in reserve for when this guy gets out of prison and kills a third
    > person, while banned, drunk and driving an uninsured stolen car above the speed limit with bald
    > tyres, faulty headlights and an illegal font on the number plate. Presumably that will be worth 9
    > 3/4 years.

    The 3 month discount from the maximum being, of course, because he was doing his best to be safe by
    exceeding the speed limit.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  19. In message <[email protected]>, bigbrian <[email protected]> writes
    >Even given the current sentencing limits, you have to wonder what was in the judge's mind that made
    >him decide not to impose the maximum sentence available. I mean, if ths guy doesn't qualify, just
    >what do you have to do to get the maximum sentence?

    Plead not guilty.

    The fact that he pleaded guilty entitled him to a discount, and yet he still ended up with a
    sentence very close to the absolute maximum available. That, to me, was very noteworthy. I was
    expecting him to get about six as a headline figure.
    --
    Richard Miller
     
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