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Plea hearing for drunken motorcycle killer on Hume Hwy

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Mouth, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. > I am writing in relatoin to your article posted (VMU thanks the riders -
    > posted 6 November 2004). I am the step daughter of Geoff Lording who was
    > killed on his motorcycle by drink driver Melanie Edwards. Just a quick
    > note to let you know that her plea will be heard in the Melbourne
    > Magistrates Court this Thursday (27 Jan, 2005) in Court room 2 at 10am.
    > This hearing is a short one and just to enter a plea but hopefully
    > (providing she pleads guilty), the sentencing hearing will see justice
    > prevailed. I thank all VMU riders also for their support. It was
    > overwhelming to see so many people at the initial court case in support of
    > another fellow rider.
    > Yours sincerely
    > Katie Rock

    Further details: http://www.vmu.org.au/content/view/27/2/

  2. I think that this goes wider than the motorcycling community. I think that the problem would still be there if she'd hit a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcyclist, or another car. Admittedly in another form of transport there might have been a higher chance of survival.
    This comes down to
    i) Why was she driving in the first place, if she was not capable of doing so
    ii) Why did she not stop and render assistance (obviously because she was DUI, judgement affected?)
    iii) Why did the magistrate allow her to continue driving?
    My main criticism is iii), the defendant's counsel argues that she required the licence for employment purposes but surely part of the learning/punishment process is inconvenience, losing licence and losing job. If for instance I was arrested for murder (probably a crime not to dissimilar to what the defendant has been charge), I would probably have been remanded in custody and refused bail. If I l lost my job as a consequence and then was found innocent, in all likeliness I would not have a job to go back too. Why is it then that accused in all likeliness will prpbably plead guilty still is allowed to carry on business as usual
    My second problem with the decision is also the apparent lack of concern for the motorcyclist and his family. I bet if the defendant had hit school children outside a school and was DUI at the time, she would have i)Gone to a preliminary (possible out of court session) hearing, ii) ther would have been public outcry, iii) she would have had her licence suspended due to the public outcry, iv) she would have been in court long before now.
    Complete inconsistency in out justice system
  3. I was under the impression that another ride was going to planned to coincide with the hearing of the case.......nothing appears on the VMU website for the 27th of this month. Anyone know anything about this?

  4. really? if there will be the ride for that, count me in!!!

    I am sure I will be there for the hearing, must put her in jail at least 5-10 yrs as an example to stop the others keep doing the same things!

    As the Mill Park (again), 28 yrs old driver Hit and Run on 22/1. Lots of Hit and Run happend lately, must get someone set as an example if they Hit and Run will be in jail a Big Big time.

    especially that woman,
    1. Drunk Driving.
    2. Hit someone, but not try to seek help, in case that person is not die.
    3. Run away
    4. Not surrender

    5. BULLSHIT--- about need a licence for her job! JOB? go to JAIL, NO MORE JOB!!!! NO need to keep her licence anymore!!!!!

  5. Oddly, under our legal system, we still hold off on the punishment until after the crime has been proven in court. Sometimes this leads to anomolies, but the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" (as against innocent until a policeman or a lot of people believe you are guilty) needs to be defended, even when the interim outcome is uncomfortable.

    No, the bail act makes a clear distinction in cases of murder, but even there it makes it clear that bail conditions are not to be used to punish the accused.

    Once you start to punish people because someone things that "in all probability" they will pleade guilty, the whole system (as imperfect as it is) starts to become unstable.

    Have you seen Judge Dredd? You like that system?

  6. Deja Vu eh Moike?
  7. As the email from the step daughter said, it's just a plea hearing. Magistrate will hear her plea and either set another date for sentencing, or another date to hear the case in court. This will be a very quick matter and probably not worth having a ride. Save it for the sentencing or case hearing date.
  8. Cool thanks!!
  9. Motorcycle death trial to proceed

    Motorcycle death trial to proceed
    Elissa Hunt

    A MOTORIST allowed to keep driving after killing a motorcyclist has handed in her licence.

    Melanie Louise Edwards, 27, was yesterday ordered to stand trial over the death of Geoffrey Lording, 41, at Wallan East, in October last year.

    She has reserved her plea on a count of culpable driving causing death and other charges.

    Edwards, of Mill Park, remains on bail and was ordered to face the County Court in April.

    Documents tendered to Melbourne Magistrates' Court allege Edwards had a blood alcohol reading of 0.14 and had crossed on to the wrong side of the road when the collision occurred. Edwards told police she thought another car had hit her and mistook blood on her car for red paint when she stopped down the road.

    She said she stopped to look for the other car but did not see one.

    When she was first charged Chief Magistrate Ian Gray allowed the sales representative to keep her licence so she could drive to work.

    But the court yesterday heard Edwards had turned in her licence a week later.
  10. reserved her plea? wtf does that mean?
  11. I'm not expert but I think it means she can still plea either way (guilty or not) and has not commited to anything yet.
  12. Most cases go via the Magistrates Court and then the serious ones get bumped up to the County or Supreme Court (this is going to County).

    Reserving the plea at this stage (guilty/not guilty) means it will be made in the County Court when the case gets there.
  13. Details from the VMU's media spokesperson on this matter ...

    As aware, on Thursday January 27 saw Melanie Louise Edwards appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in a Mention Hearing.

    I attended on behalf of the VMU to observe the proceedings from the public gallery. Members of the lording family were also obviously in attendance, along with Geoffs’ partner and step-daughter.

    The outcome of the hearing was not unexpected. Ms. Edwards was represented by counsel, who advised the court that she did not contest the evidence being presented by the prosecution. Ms. Edwards reserved
    her plea. The magistrate fixed the matter to be listed in the County Court on April 5th 2005 for a Case Conference. At this conference Ms. Edwards will be required to enter a plea and the case will be then
    listed for trial.

    Magistrate Cripps addressed the matter and advised Ms. Edwards that the weight of evidence against her was sufficient to result in a conviction on the three charges of: Culpable driving. Failing to stop at the scene of an accident. Failing to render assistance. The charges relating to BAC and Dangerous/Careless driving are apparently not matters of concern
    in the County Court and the Prosecutor is of the opinion that they will be heard before a Magistrate in a separate action. The magistrate extended bail based on the existing conditions.
  14. Re: Motorcycle death trial to proceed

    Did she actually turn her license in or is it as we have heard that the police didn't give it back to her? Fair difference between the two.
  15. Re: Motorcycle death trial to proceed

    Thats my understanding too mick , the police never actually handed back her license to her,
    so how did she hand it in..

    Maybe there using the fact that she never asked police for it as ( handing it back)
    as a show of remorse :(
  16. Re: Motorcycle death trial to proceed


    Thats my understanding too mick , the police never actually handed back her license to her,
    so how did she hand it in..


    Are you sure they took her licence?

    Police can't take a licence away immediately unless it is a repeat offence or the reading is over .17

    I don't think either applied in this case.
  17. Having some knowledge of court cases, it would be better to have a representative from various motorcycle associations, eg VMU, MRA, etc, to report on the case than to have a hoard of bikers turn up and cause a scene.

    The last thing we as motorcyclists want, is to appear vengeful and thirsty for payback in blood. We may think that at times, but not always the best option.
  18. I'm with you on this one
  19. I like how people (lawyers) get paid top dollar to stop people who get drunk, and cross the other side of the road, hitting motorcyclists and killing them in the process, from getting put into jail for something they clearly did wrong...and succeed only because he got more cash than the other lawyer...lets not forget juries getting bribed or "influenced".... justice systems are cool!
  20. At the moment while we can show up and support the family, until the sentence is handed down there's nothing specific to warrant a real protest.
    If the sentence is manifestly inadequate (and on past showings it probably will be) then we should be shouting to the roof tops about it and causing scenes.

    Till then just a quiet presence is more appropriate.