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Bus driver sentenced?

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Thursday 10 February 2005 7.28am
Does anyone know whether the bus driver, Michael Duncan has been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court? He was charged [with] dangerous driving [in connection with] the death of a female cyclist (Vicky McCreery) on Blackfriars Bridge last May . He was scheduled to appear at the Court last September and I have not heard what was the sentence or whatever it was passed.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 10 February 2005 9.01am by James Hatts.
Thursday 10 February 2005 9.02am
Sorry, had to edit that a little bit.

Please try to be more careful with your choice of phrases regarding court cases!

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Thursday 10 February 2005 9.46am
Sorry about that, James - I might not be very good with English grammar and thanks for editing that.
Friday 11 February 2005 6.23am
So? What happened?
Friday 11 February 2005 4.58pm
just read on this is london he was jailed for a year today.
Friday 11 February 2005 5.02pm
Transport chiefs were criticised by a top judge today as he jailed a rookie bus driver for a year for crushing a woman cyclist under his wheels.

He said they should "cut through superfluous bureaucracy" and ensure the bus and cycle lanes over London's busy Blackfriars Bridge played no part in such a tragedy again.

Judge Simon Davies said while 22-year-old Michael Duncan was guilty of a "momentary lapse" of concentration, the layout of road markings was a contributory factor.

Physiotherapist Victoria McCreery, who had earlier expressed her concerns about the design to friends, was on her way from work when the crowded five ton single-decker rammed her from behind.

The Australian-born 37-year-old, married just a year earlier, "must have died almost instantly", Inner London Crown Court was told.

Andrew Espley (CORRECT), prosecuting, said that had the defendant been "looking where he was going", the accident, on May 10 last year, would never have happened.

But defence barrister Michelle Fawcett said just hours before the 26mph collision her client, who had only held a full licence for a year and a bus driver's licence for 52 days, had spoken to one of his bosses about his lack of confidence with the route.

But his line manager at the east London bus and coach company and showed little concern.

"Instead of receiving sympathy or being assigned to a different route he was more confident with, he was simply informed to take a map with him and do his best," she said.

He was then warned that "if he did not comply his employment would be terminated".

Mrs McCreery's husband, Sandy, a Middlesex University lecturer in "spatial culture", sat at the back of the court as the judge told his wife's killer: "I accept entirely that your remorse ... was and remains 100% genuine.

"In cases of this kind, always, always tragic, it has been my experience there are aspects to weigh up on both sides.

The judge continued: "I have no doubt that the layout on that bridge on that day was a contributory factor.

"It is not appropriate now for me to make comments about what I hope for the future of that layout of that bridge, save to say this: if there is anything positive that I can hope for that might emerge from this case in that respect, it is that those advisers get on with the job, cut through what may otherwise be superfluous bureaucracy to ensure, at least on that part of the roads in London, this never happens again."

He said Duncan, of South Mall, Lower Edmonton, north London, was a person of undoubted "integrity and trustworthiness", who deserved credit for admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

But although he was guilty of a simple "lapse, a momentary, dangerous error of judgment", there were no exceptional circumstances which could save him from jail.

Saturday 12 February 2005 11.51am
What purpose was served by jailing the driver?
Will he be a better driver when he's released.
Will the realtives of the cyclist feel they have had justice.
Will a 1 year sentence mean other drivers are more careful.
If the cyclist had been knocked off her bike and only injured or uninjured, would the
driver have been jailed.
It seems a bit odd if after a lapse of concentration an accident occurs and the sentence is
based on the severity of the injuries and not on the reason for the accident.
If you lost control of a vehicle and ploughed into a bus shelter with no at it you wouldn't be charged.
However if there happened to be people waiting and you injured or killed someone you would be.
It's all a matter of luck.
Saturday 12 February 2005 12.14pm
Er...yes, I think jailing the driver DOES serve a purpose...bus drivers frequently seem to think they are kings of the road and a rap over the knuckles is probably a good thing. And I dare say the family of the victim feel that some justice has been done, if not all....naturally they will feel that one year is as nothing compared to loss of life. If I may dare offer a personal slant, my late husband was killed by a careless bus driver crashing into a concrete bus shelter - and he was IN the bus. So crashing into bus shelters with no one there can still cause death and injury. All in all, bus drivers have a huge responsibility, and we all know that no cyclist is a match for a bus.
Saturday 12 February 2005 12.33pm
"What purpose was served by jailing the driver?"

Punishment for killing somone. And quite right too.

"Will he be a better driver when he's released."

He won't be a bus driver. If as this accident suggests he is a bad driver, this will be a good thing. I guess he will have to retake his driving test again too.

"Will the realtives of the cyclist feel they have had justice."

Somone has been punished - that along with criminal injuries compensation and therapy/counselling is what our systrtem offers to people who have suffered because of crime. They may need/want more or less.

"Will a 1 year sentence mean other drivers are more careful."

Yes, though some may think their union (if their bosses allow them to be in one) should appeal

"If the cyclist had been knocked off her bike and only injured or uninjured, would the driver have been jailed. It seems a bit odd if after a lapse of concentration an accident occurs and the sentence is based on the severity of the injuries and not on the reason for the accident."

The crime and what is judged is the outcome of actions - the circumstances and reasons for actions decide the sentence. So if it had been more deliberate: a longer sentence; and if there had been a lesser injury: a lesser sentence. Justice is about balance.
Saturday 12 February 2005 1.03pm
I imagine everyone has had an accident while driving. Fortunately most are minor and no-one is
injured. I fail to see what the difference is between crashing in to a wall due to being distracted
and crashing into another roaduser. The sentence should reflect the cause of the accident not
the result.
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