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Killer driver accepts he was driving too fast.

rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
edited June 2007 in Campaign
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/6226498.stm


Cycle driver 'wished he was dead'

Mr Harris said the accident happened so quickly
An inquest into the deaths of four cyclists killed by an out-of-control car has heard how the driver often wished he had died instead of them.
Robert Harris also said he was driving too fast before his vehicle collided with members of the Rhyl Cycling Club on an icy road near Abergele, Conwy.

A statement by the 47-year-old security guard was read to the inquest jury.

It said Mr Harris constantly recalled the "tragic day".

His barrister Peter Freeman said Mr Harris also offered his "deepest sympathies to the families".

Mr Harris, from Abergele, was on his way to work as a security guard at B&Q on the morning of the 8 January 2006.

As a family man, Mr Harris struggles to comprehend the impact of the bereaved's sudden and terrible losses

Statement on behalf of motorist Robert Harris

The four cyclists - Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42 - were killed when the car, a Toyota Corolla, collided with the group on the A547.

The cyclists had not long set out on a 60-mile Sunday club ride to Llandudno's Great Orme.

Mr Freeman read out the statement at the inquest at Abergele town hall.

"Mr Harris has always wanted to express his deepest sympathies to the families.

"He has been mindful of the possible pain that might be caused by any approach by him.


The four cyclists had just started on their 60-mile ride

"Mr Harris is very aware that nothing he can say or do will end the bereaved's suffering," the statement read.

"As a family man Mr Harris struggles to comprehend the impact of the bereaved's sudden and terrible losses.

"He cannot and does not see a member of his own family without feeling the pain of the bereaved's losses," Mr Freeman added.

Mr Harris accepted he was driving too fast and the statement described how the rear end of the car had slid on the icy road.

'Haunted'

He said in the statement he constantly recalled the "tragic day" and "did not set out intending to harm or even upset anyone".

Mr Harris added he hoped "the bereaved accept how hard he fought - in those fateful seconds - to control his car and avoid the cyclists".

He said he had often wished he had not set off to work at all and that he had died instead.

In the statement Mr Harris said there was very little he could say because the crash happened so quickly.

He added that the interview he gave to the police only three days afterwards provided all the information he could offer.

He said he was "haunted" by the events but fully appreciated that his suffering was minimal compared to that of the bereaved.

Mr Harris said he wished "there was more he could do than express his deepest sympathies."

Last August, Mr Harris was fined œ180 with œ35 costs and given six points on his licence after admitting having defective tyres.

However the court heard the defective tyres were not a factor in the accident.

The inquest continues.
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Posts

  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    Sounds very fair to me. He must indeed feel worthless. I find myself feeling some sympathy for him. Some.

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    However worthless he feels, he still took away four lives and I am sure it isn't as bad as the grieving families feel.

    Absolutely disgusting.


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by giant man</i>

    However worthless he feels, he still took away four lives and <b>I am sure it isn't as bad as the grieving families feel.</b>


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Well, yes, a point made several times in the article, in the driver's statement...

    I'm with Tony...

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Arch</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by giant man</i>

    However worthless he feels, he still took away four lives and <b>I am sure it isn't as bad as the grieving families feel.</b>


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Well, yes, a point made several times in the article, in the driver's statement...

    I'm with Tony...

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm with Tony and Arch.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    If I thought that this was "grandstanding" and making a statement that justified the accident, or was mitigating, then I agree it would be disgusting.

    However I get the impression that this is genuine guilt and remorse, hence I do feel some sympathy.

    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    Why even set out to drive a car with three bald tyres? Didn't he know? Didn't he care? The council have been criticized for not gritting the roads. But the fact is that the roads were ungritted and the driver should have been that much slower and more careful.
    It is not acceptable that the roads are so dangerous. These tragedies happen because driving offences simply aren't taken seriously. If they were then 3 bald tyres and driving too fast for the conditions would incur a much higher penalty than this bloke paid, irrespective of the deaths.

    "da sapienti et addetur ei sapientia doce iustum et festinabit accipere."
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • HowardcpHowardcp Posts: 1,084
    So, the BBC report makes much of the drivers' supposed anguish about killing those four cyclists and the fact that he didn't intend to kill anyone. So what! Drunk drivers, mobile phone users, speeders, boy-racers and uninsured, unlicensed low-lifes driving without regard for anyone else on the road rarely intend to kill or maim either.

    The bottom line is that he wilfully chose to drive on a bendy road in the middle of winter at speeds (well according to him) that would only just have been legal on a perfect summers day when he knew full well encountering icy patches was a real possibility. However, that such wilful actions lead to the death of 4 innocent people means nothing in the eyes of British 'justice'. Motorists should be expected to drive according to the conditions and not be allowed to get away with just putting their foot down in poor weather conditions and trusting to luck that they don't kill or maim someone as a consequence.

    As the essayist Robert Lynd one said: "There is no such thing as a dangerous bend in the road. There are only bends round which it is dangerous to drive dangerously." Much the same applies to road conditions.
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    If the killer driver is wracked with guilt maybe a custodial would salve his conscience? He should be imprisoned for his own sake.
  • bad companybad company Posts: 2,293
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Howard</i>

    So, the BBC report makes much of the drivers' supposed anguish about killing those four cyclists and the fact that he didn't intend to kill anyone. So what! Drunk drivers, mobile phone users, speeders, boy-racers and uninsured, unlicensed low-lifes driving without regard for anyone else on the road rarely intend to kill or maim either.

    The bottom line is that he wilfully chose to drive on a bendy road in the middle of winter at speeds (well according to him) that would only just have been legal on a perfect summers day when he knew full well encountering icy patches was a real possibility. However, that such wilful actions lead to the death of 4 innocent people means nothing in the eyes of British 'justice'. Motorists should be expected to drive according to the conditions and not be allowed to get away with just putting their foot down in poor weather conditions and trusting to luck that they don't kill or maim someone as a consequence.

    As the essayist Robert Lynd one said: "There is no such thing as a dangerous bend in the road. There are only bends round which it is dangerous to drive dangerously." Much the same applies to road conditions. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Well I actually agree whith Howard on this one (that really is a first). I think the driver's grief and anquish are more to do with mitigation than an excuse.

    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
  • linfordlunchboxlinfordlunchbox Posts: 4,834
    He was driving too fast for the conditions (as were the other vehicles who also crashed at the same point that morning), that is what caused the accident. The 3 bald tyres have already been discounted as being contributory in the accident itself !

    Nothing he can say, and no punishment handed down will bring the riders back or offer any sense of justice to the families.

    Life can be so unfair at times, and will continue to be !


    "I\'d clean my car with a baby elephant - if I had a baby elephant !"
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    The supposed self punishment of the driver is irrelevany since punishment is not the only purpose of justice.

    A proper deterrent to other drivers who don't maintain their cars and drive too fast, killing vulnerable road users, would be a substantial custodial sentence and a life ban.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    A proper deterrent to other drivers who don't maintain their cars and drive too fast, killing vulnerable road users, would be a substantial custodial sentence and a life ban.


    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    What would you consider to be an appropriate length of custodial sentence for a case like that?
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    5 years would send a clear message that a duty of care to others exists.

    The fact that drivers who kill do not automatically receive a ban is disgraceful.

    The car was travelling at at least 50 mph, possibly much faster. This is dangerous at any time where visibility is poor - ie on a bend. In potentially icy conditions (and with defective tyres) this is lunacy. Four innocent people died as a result of this incident (I'm deliberately not using the word 'accident'). Nobody is suggesting that the driver deliberately set out to cause these deaths, but, his vehicle was responsible, for whatever reason. The cyclists were not killed by the road or the ice, but by the car. The inquest should be seeking the reasons for this, so that, we hope, something can be done to prevent future tragedies occuring. If the inquest finds that the driver was negligent, and that this negligence caused or contributed to the deaths, then he should face the consequences in law.
  • bad companybad company Posts: 2,293
    Well to me a short custodial sentance would be sufficient (assuming he does not have any 'form), say 9 months. I think he will have learned his lesson. As for deterent the thought of imprisonment is horrific for any otherwise law abiding citizen.

    Would not ban him but would make him re-take his driving test.

    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
  • JadedJaded Posts: 6,663
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bad company</i>

    otherwise law abiding citizen<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I wish you'd stop using this phrase. It is used to try and excuse illegal behaviour.

    --
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  • bad companybad company Posts: 2,293
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jaded</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bad company</i>

    otherwise law abiding citizen<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I wish you'd stop using this phrase. It is used to try and excuse illegal behaviour.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    No not an excuse but surely valid in mitigation?

    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    A one-time rapist is an otherwise law abiding citizen.

    It's meaningless BC, stop repeating it all the time.
  • linfordlunchboxlinfordlunchbox Posts: 4,834
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    5 years would send a clear message that a duty of care to others exists.

    The fact that drivers who kill do not automatically receive a ban is disgraceful.

    The car was travelling at at least 50 mph, possibly much faster. This is dangerous at any time where visibility is poor - ie on a bend. In potentially icy conditions (and with defective tyres) this is lunacy. Four innocent people died as a result of this incident (I'm deliberately not using the word 'accident'). Nobody is suggesting that the driver deliberately set out to cause these deaths, but, his vehicle was responsible, for whatever reason. The cyclists were not killed by the road or the ice, but by the car. The inquest should be seeking the reasons for this, so that, we hope, something can be done to prevent future tragedies occuring. If the inquest finds that the driver was negligent, and that this negligence caused or contributed to the deaths, then he should face the consequences in law.





    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">


    Considering that the prison capacity in the UK has already been exceeded and they are now releasing rapists and paedophiles early, do you have any suggestions where they put him ?


    "I'd clean my car with a baby elephant - if I had a baby elephant !"


    "I\'d clean my car with a baby elephant - if I had a baby elephant !"
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Perhaps we should be dismayed by one of the Coroner's opening remarks which suggested that one of the questions to be answered is whether cyclists should have been using the road at all given the conditions on the day of the accident.

    As it was a motor vehicle which skidded into the cyclists surely the proper question is whether motor vehicles should have been using the road that day?
  • bad companybad company Posts: 2,293
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    A one-time rapist is an otherwise law abiding citizen.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Which means that he would probably get a lower sentance than a serial rapist.
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">
    It's meaningless BC, stop repeating it all the time.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">What on earth are you on about now tabernacle[?][?][?]

    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    What is Harris's criminal history BC?
  • bad companybad company Posts: 2,293
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    What is Harris's criminal history BC?<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Don't know but for the moment I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. If it comes to light that he has a record of bad driving the sentance should be drasticly increased IMO.

    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> Don't know <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I see.


    So when you claimed Harris was "otherwise law abiding" you didn't, in fact, know what you were talking about.

    You are defending a killer driver despite the fact you know censored all about him.

    Why would you do that?


    And it's "sentence".
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 225
    seems to me that the only difference between this crash and all the others on the ice that day is that, sadly, there was a bunch of cyclists there when he crashed. I would guseethe others hit a wall, tree or perhaps even nothing at all.

    if we are judging his driving, rather than the result, does that mean that all the other drivers should go to prison as well?
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jaded</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by bad company</i>

    otherwise law abiding citizen<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I wish you'd stop using this phrase. It is used to try and excuse illegal behaviour.

    --
    <font size="1">[Warning] This post may contain a baby elephant or traces of one</font id="size1">
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    It's a concept widely recognised by the courts. If you are a hardened thug/burglar/drug dealer and have already been inside five times, the prospect of being sent to prison again is not particularly daunting - all you are concerned about it the length of the sentence.

    However, if you are a 50 year old who has never been in trouble before, the shock of going to prison at all means that there is very little difference in effect between a short sentence and a medium one.
  • bad companybad company Posts: 2,293
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> Don't know <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">I see.


    So when you claimed Harris was "otherwise law abiding" you didn't, in fact, know what you were talking about.

    You are defending a killer driver despite the fact you know censored all about him.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Either you are refusing to read my post properly or you are very stupid.

    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
    I AM THE STIG - HONEST
  • HowardcpHowardcp Posts: 1,084
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by linfordlunchbox</i>

    He was driving too fast for the conditions (as were the other vehicles who also crashed at the same point that morning), that is what caused the accident. <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    <b>No </b>other vehicle crashed at the same spot that morning! There was just one other crash on that particular road the whole morning, and that was several miles away..
  • HowardcpHowardcp Posts: 1,084
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by paulwood</i>

    seems to me that the only difference between this crash and all the others on the ice that day is that, sadly, there was a bunch of cyclists there when he crashed. I would guseethe others hit a wall, tree or perhaps even nothing at all.

    if we are judging his driving, rather than the result, does that mean that all the other drivers should go to prison as well?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Not sure about the utility of long spells in prison, though lengthy (10 years to life) driving bans for bad drivers should become the norm. However, why should the consequences of a drivers actions be ignored by the law? After all, if you stab someone without intending to kill them (an illegal act, just like speeding) and they die as a consequence you still get charged with manslaughter, not wounding...
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 225
    Don't disagree about being responsible for consequences but it does introduce a whole element of luck. If you skid and hit a tree you geta bent car, if you skid and hit a bus queue you go to prison for 10 years, for what the same bad driving.
  • JadedJaded Posts: 6,663
    Same sort of luck that faces you if you discharge a firearm in a public place.

    --
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