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VIC Driver fined over fatal accident

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by razorcat, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Oh, where to begin...

    A woman who failed to give way on a country road and caused a fatal collision escaped with a fine yesterday.

    The Ballarat Magistrates Court heard that Raylene Sinclair, 47, was driving south on the Geelong-Ballan Road and went to turn right into Shaw’s Road when the accident happened on June 11 last year.

    Counsel for the prosecution said Sinclair, who pleaded guilty to careless driving, slowed down for the turn, but failed to see a motorcycle.

    The court was told the motorcycle collided with the side of Sinclair’s vehicle.

    The rider was airlifted to hospital but his wife, who was behind him as a passenger, died at the scene.

    He said Sinclair was not drinking at the time, was not on a mobile phone and was not speeding, but simply did not see the motorcycle.

    Magistrate Peter Couzens handed down a conviction and fined Sinclair $750.

    Defence lawyer Mike Wardell said his client had been traumatised by the ordeal

  2. Takes a life, keeps her licence and fined $750. I know which lawyer to call if I'm ever in trouble.
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  3. Yeah .. it kind of blows your mind that someone can cause death and serious injury and receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

    I don't know if ridiculously harsh punsishments are the answer ... but to me careless driving should be penalised in similar way to drink driving with the penalties increasing in steps that reflect the seriousness of the damage caused by the guilty party and take into account the drivers traffic history. To me pleading guilty to 'careless driving' equates to admitting to driving while impaired.
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  4. I don't think the guy is an asshole. He's simply doing his court-appointed job.

    Playing devil's advocate (pun intended), it should be understood that both the plaintiff and the defendant parties must fight for their case to the best of their abilities.

    Which is to say, the female driver may well be traumatised by the ordeal (and probably is), and her lawyer has to argue that in court in order for the court hearing to be fair and just. Otherwise the lawyer isn't doing their job - they're helping the other side, or worse still, being the Judge.
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  5. Traumatised they say?
    That's a price you pay for not being observant enough and killing someone.

    If it was a young driver it would been a 'hoon kills bike rider' news story

    If I was the rider I would be appealing that horseshit verdict and demanding at the very least her licence is suspended until she resat her her test.
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  6. I suppose my point is - if you want to get angry about the verdict, direct your anger toward either the lawyer of the motorcyclist for not making a strong enough case, or the Judge for not making the decision you wanted.

    The driver's lawyer is simply doing their job.

    We don't know the full facts, either, in terms of factors which determined the apportioning of blame.
  7. For a start, I very much doubt he was "court-appointed".
    Secondly, despite what American television writers seem to think, lawyers are not under a legal obligation to try any and all wild schemes/skullduggery/emotional manipulation in an attempt to get their clients off scot-free.
    That man was just being an ass and the magistrate should have called him out for saying something so trite.
  8. It all stems from the charge. She was charged with careless driving and that's it. So the prosecutor had his or her work cut out for them right from the start.

    We have to question why Mr Plod thought this was the most appropriate charge.
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  9. She may not have originally been charged with that offence; she may have pled down.
  10. What's trite about it? It's probably true. I'd be pretty traumatised if I killed someone.

    The sentence was crap. Didn't even lose her licence.
  11. True - but generally they only plead down if the charges look like they won't stick.

    Having this woman face the magi with this piss weak charge is an insult to the victim and her family.
  12. Yes and no. - The cops generally like to throw as many charges as possible at a person, if the case looks weak. Then the prosecutor can pretend to be magnanimous and say "Well, if you plead guilty to this other charge, we'll drop these original charges..."
    That way they get a guaranteed conviction and they don't have to do any work for it.

    It's trite inasmuch as her alleged trauma is in no way comparable to what the rider of the bike went through, both physically and mentally. How the driver of the car feels after the act has no relevance whatsoever.
  13. No one said that it was, but she'd still feel trauma. It's the lawyer's job to try to convince the court of her trauma and remorse (assuming she has any) in an attempt to minimise her sentence. Happens every day.
  14. Pffftttt - this is manslaughter - not a "careless mistake"

    Bottom line - if the car driver had made the same mistake in front of an oncoming B-Double, the poor Sod driving the truck would be in jail.

    ::end of line
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  15. Lots of things "happen every day". That doesn't make them right or relevant.
  16. Rubbish. What do you suggest with your obviously great knowledge of the law should the driver have been charged with?

    Careless or negligent driving is the most appropriate charge when it's an accident, not deliberate and there are no additional factors such as speed. There are other charges such as culpable, furious, reckless, dangerous (varies state to state) but they require other circumstances such as excess speed or other dangerous behaviour such as driving through a stop sign without stoping for example.

    No other charge would have been appropriate in this case. The only thing that can potentially be said is why wasn't a harsher penalty imposed? But that's the case in most convictions, the penalty is normally a fraction of the maximum under the law.
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  17. This is all so very wrong that I LOL'd.
  18. Geez, I didn't say it was. But it's what happens. If you hire a lawyer, don't you want them to fight for you? Or would you tell the judge, "Yes, sir, I deserve to spend 10 years in jail." Don't think so. And yes, it's relevant bc that's what happens in court. I understand the emotiveness of this, but that doesn't mean the defendant doesn't get the opportunity to try to get the minimum sentence possible.
  19. Why?

    The balance of sentence Vs ultimate outcome rings very true to me.......

    Yes - in the proposed scenario the truck driver has right of way and collides with an oncoming vehicle.....in the proposed scenario he kills an innocent road user performing a legal turn.

    In reality - the motorcyclist pillion perishes on the road side after being involved in a "mistake" performed by another road user completing an ILLEGAL turn.............

    The inference drawn may be on the "long bow side" - but I struggle to see any "LOLZ" in any of this......

    back in box --> indeed.
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