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Alexander Walter already banned, over twice alcohol limit, doing 70mph in a 30mph zone when he killed John Morland and Kris Jarvis

A drink-driver who killed two cyclists while driving a stolen BMW has been sentenced to ten years and three months in jail.

Alexander Farrar Walter, 31, had over twice the blood alcohol limit and had used cocaine within the last 24 hours when he hit and killed John Morland, 30, and Kris Jarvis, 39, on February 13 this year.

Walter, of Purley on Thames, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, according to Helen Williams of the Evening Standard.

Walter took his partner’s black convertible without permission after an argument and lost control while doing 70mph in a 30mph zone. The two cyclists he hit were on a footpath and wearing helmets when he ploughed into them.

He also pleaded guilty to other offences including aggravated vehicle-taking, driving while disqualified, and driving while uninsured.

Judge John Reddihough told Walter that "two completely innocent young men and with families" were killed as a result of his "thoughtless, selfish and dangerous actions".

He said the evidence against Walter was "overwhelming" adding: "Seven children are left without a father and two women have been left without partners. Of course there is also the effect on the other members of their family."

The court heard that Walter had appeared in court 14 times over 67 offences including obtaining property by deception, dishonesty, false representation, and making a bomb hoax. In 2010 he was handed a four-year ban and should not have been driving again until December this year.

The victims worked for Reading Borough Council and were keen riders. Kris Jarvis had five children and was planning to wed fiancée Tracey Fidler next year. John Morland had two children and had set a date for his marriage to fiancée Hayley Lindsay in May 2016.

Prosecutor Alan Blake noted said the grieving relatives had made "devastating" victim statements.

He said: "It includes Amanda Morland (Mr Morland's sister) saying that part of her died with John on that day and they (the family) will never be the same again.

"There were similar expressions by the partner of Kris Jarvis (Tracey Fidler) who describes how difficult it is dealing with the loneliness she suffers, having never previously spent the night apart."

James House, defending, said Walter had written a letter to bereaved families.

Mr House said Walter "offers his heartfelt apologies" knowing that it would never make up for what he had done but he had admitted his guilt.

Walter was also banned for driving for 15 years and will have to pass an extended test.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

21 comments

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goggy [153 posts] 1 year ago
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Decent sentence for a change. But what's with the "...and were wearing helmets at the time" like that would make the slightest difference in the sentencing or risk mitigation?  7

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jimc101 [65 posts] 1 year ago
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Bit lenient for the driving ban part, why not a lifetime ban? bit lenient for all of it really.

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shay cycles [315 posts] 1 year ago
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Sentence is a bit heavier than some we see but even so he'll be out in just over five years, he has no respect for the law (habitual offender) and a driving ban doesn't, as this incident proves, stop him from driving.

I honestly beleive that in cases like this each charge should be sentenced individually and that sentences should not be able to run concurrently (both prison and bans).

So sequential sentence for each of the following:

Causing death by dangerous driving
Driving over the limit
Driving under the influence of drugs
Driving without insurance
Driving while disqualified
Aggravated vehicle-taking

Finally I wonder why so many people just ignore driving bans. Having wondered for a while I beleive there is a great lack of deterent. I would suggest the easiest way to boost the deterent value would be for a driving ban to be in effect a suspended prison sentence - i.e. if you have a 2 year ban and break it afer 6 months then you spend the remaining 18 months in prison (full term).

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [291 posts] 1 year ago
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A 15 year ban? FFS, IT SHOULD BE A LIFETIME BAN.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 1 year ago
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The single biggest change to road safety we can possibly make right now, given limitations to expenditure, is to make a lifetime ban mandatory, for ANY death due to careless or dangerous driving.

It's all about risk compensation. Even if we consider ourselves to be careful drivers, we'd all drive a little bit slower, with a little more concentration, and with a little less temptation to fiddle with gadgets as we drive along.

And, although it won't stop hardened offenders, there's always a chance that such a penalty would remove some really awful drivers off the road before they become a serious burden to society.

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bikebot [1633 posts] 1 year ago
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goggy wrote:

Decent sentence for a change. But what's with the "...and were wearing helmets at the time" like that would make the slightest difference in the sentencing or risk mitigation?  7

Cycling helmets are the new "woman dressed provocatively"

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IngloriousLou [138 posts] 1 year ago
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JonD [389 posts] 1 year ago
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/3840039.stm

We can only hope he finds a new best-mate in the showers...

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Carl [135 posts] 1 year ago
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You have to wonder what proportion of the 10 years was for killing two people and what was for offences against the legal system, eg driving while banned.

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Guyz2010 [302 posts] 1 year ago
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Scum like him don't deserve a place on this planet! A complete waste of a skin.

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ShutUpHead [7 posts] 1 year ago
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How on earth was he not banned from driving *for life*?

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ShutUpHead [7 posts] 1 year ago
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How on earth was he not banned from driving *for life*?

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ShutUpHead [7 posts] 1 year ago
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How on earth was he not banned from driving *for life*?

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oldstrath [494 posts] 1 year ago
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ShutUpHead wrote:

How on earth was he not banned from driving *for life*?

Presumably because in the eyes of the twits who inhabit the legal profession, even murderous scum 'need' to be able to drive. Oh, and of course he was truly sorry, and promises not to do it again.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 1 year ago
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10 years is not enough for two deaths. 30 years for murder would be like it.

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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I hope this subhuman upsets the wrong inmate...

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Paul_C [393 posts] 1 year ago
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the good news here is that since the law was changed in 2009, his driving ban is held in abeyance and doesn't start until he is out...

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PhilRuss [352 posts] 1 year ago
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[[[[[ Yes, but he's clearly demonstrated he doesn't accept driving bans, and may have spent the last four years driving illegally, for all anybody knows. As the police have said, there's no way to keep track of these miscreants, particularly if they change cars and drive properly when they spot police vehicles....so if, as suggested above, he gets out in about 5 years, will justice really have been served? And isn't the maximum 14 years for causing D.B.D.D?
P.R.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1111 posts] 1 year ago
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Neil753 wrote:

The single biggest change to road safety we can possibly make right now, given limitations to expenditure, is to make a lifetime ban mandatory, for ANY death due to careless or dangerous driving.

It's all about risk compensation. Even if we consider ourselves to be careful drivers, we'd all drive a little bit slower, with a little more concentration, and with a little less temptation to fiddle with gadgets as we drive along.

And, although it won't stop hardened offenders, there's always a chance that such a penalty would remove some really awful drivers off the road before they become a serious burden to society.

If all the terrible drivers were banned from the roads there would then be such a large proportion of people unable to drive that society and the economy would have to adapt to cope with them! There wold be no choice but to provide more public transport, and show more consideration about accessibility when locating services and businesses. Not to mention more cycling provision.

Which I suppose is one reason why it won't happen - getting the unfit drivers off the road would weaken the power of the road lobby - they _need_ those guys and there are a such a lot of them.

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kie7077 [833 posts] 1 year ago
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The two cyclists he hit were on a footpath and wearing helmets when he ploughed into them.

Of course if they weren't wearing helmets then it would have been their fault if they died  14 (sarc)

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John Stevenson [249 posts] 1 year ago
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PhilRuss - it is, but there's an automatic reduction for a guilty plea.