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Thread: Unbelievable Judge.

  1. #1
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    Default Unbelievable Judge.

    Have a read of this, and please sign the online petition if you feel as strongly as I did -

    On August 18 2004 at approx 1.20 am Stephen Jackson And Leon Hughes were seen leaving Festival Park Retail Park in Stoke on Trent in separate cars. Stephen was on his way home to Audley. According to witness accounts the two cars were travelling at high speeds, estimated at 80-90 mph. Stephen was driving behind Leon Hughes . This is where he remained for the duration of the journey. It was raining so road conditions were poor. On a notorious section of the a500 Leon lost control of his car and left the road. This was due to a puncture in the cars rear tyre caused by a nail, poor road conditions, and the inexperience of the driver (he had only recently passed his test). The result was that Leon and one of his passengers died. Stephen was able to pull over at the scene, contact the emergency services and ultimately save the life of Leon's other passenger: Lee Scarlett. Stephen was breathalysed and tested for drugs the results of both tests were negative.

    Subsequently, Stephen was charged with causing Death by dangerous driving. It was maintained by the police that the two drivers were racing at the time of the accident.

    Despite Stephen's innocence he pleaded guilty to the charge as he was advised that he would most certainly be found guilty and receive a custodial sentence. The plea was entered ultimately to reduce his sentence.

    This young man has been sentenced to 5 years in prison despite the following factors:

    * There was no contact between the cars,
    * Stephen never lost control of his car,
    * He was behind the other car for the entire duration of the journey, so how is it possible that he was racing?
    * No witnesses reported him to be driving erratically,
    * He stayed at the scene of the accident and actively helped save the life of the passenger.

    Stephen has admitted that he was driving at high speed. This has been proven to some degree by the prosecution. This in itself does not make a race when another person is also speeding. Ultimately this is all that has been proven. Stephen was driving at high speed on the way home , accompanied by Leon Hughes who was ALSO speeding.
    The online petition can be found at - http://www.save-steve.co.uk/

  2. #2
    Regular Member MLC's Avatar
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    Got to disagree with you here. Driving at 90mph in poor conditions, on A roads, is as dangerous as it gets. If you play with fire, you get burned!

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    Surely he can't be held accountable for how the other driver was driving though?

    I totally agree with you MLC the driving was dangerous, but how can he be blamed for a crash caused by another persons driving and maintenance of his vehicle.
    Last edited by AJA; 24th October 2005 at 12:09.

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    Regular Member Andy's Avatar
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    Its hard to comment as unless your were there, or present at the court no-one really knows the true facts. All you’ve read is a biased viewpoint of the plantiffs family. I think it is quite feasible that they were racing which the penalties for getting caught are known by most but again I don’t know all the facts.

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    Regular Member MLC's Avatar
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    To be charged with causing death by dangerous driving, you do not have to be the sole cause of the incident. If your actions have been a contributory factor, then you can be liable. I haven't seen the evidence, so can't comment in detail.

    The definition is that the way he drives falls far below that would be expected of a competent and careful driver
    AND
    it would be obvious to acompetent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

    It would seem that his driving meets both these criteria. If this guy had backed off and drove sensibly, is it likely that the other guy would have slowed down as well. The guys barrister would have considered all these factors when giving advice regarding his plea. If there's the slightest doubt he would advise a not guilty plea.
    Nobody has won in a situation like this, but it remains that people have to be accountable for the standard of their driving.

  6. #6
    Regular Member barney's Avatar
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    My thoughts on this are..They were driving at excessive high speeds on poor road conditions.They most probably wasn't racing each other, but the term egging on comes to mind..If the guy behind had slowed down a little the guy in front would most probably reduced his his speed also, Ok he still might have got the puncture but he might still be alive today

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    Regular Member Tim2100's Avatar
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    MLC. I feel i must disagree with you to an extent.

    I agree that driving at 90mph on A road in poor conditions at night is dangerous, but shouldn't the charge be careless driving, not death by Dangerous driving? Just because he was speeding and somebody else lost control doesn't mean he should be responsible!!

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    How easy or hard is it to prove two cars were racing?

    So, if there's a line of cars on the motorway all travelling at 90mph, and there's a crash at the front. Does that mean that the drivers behind are at fault?

    I know 90mph is too fast on our motorways, but I see it all the time. I've been passed by a stream of cars all travelling at 90mph+. This doesn't mean they are racing each other, surely?

    I can fully understand everyone's views on this, I just think the sentence is a little harsh.

    Please keep the comments coming guys & gals.
    Last edited by AJA; 24th October 2005 at 12:32.

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    Regular Member Doug-SRidirect's Avatar
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    Me too!

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    Regular Member Green Growler's Avatar
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    I agree as well, it was asking for trouble and sadly they got it.
    Sentence a little harsh, yeah may be it is, compared to other sentences we have seen for other offences, yes, it's harsh.
    I'm sure I read this story in a magazine recently as well, think it was redline, not sure now, but once the like of such a magazine get involved it gets published for all the wrong reasons, IMO.
    Impossible to really judge it with out knowing the full facts though, and I guess you had to be in the court room to do that.

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