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Driver carried on to Wales after leaving dead cyclist in road in Shropshire

A lorry driver who killed a cyclist in a hit-and-run collision has escaped jail with a suspended sentence after pleading guilty.


Mark Baker, 40, carried on his journey to Wrexham in his delivery lorry despite hitting and killing cyclist Michael Saunders on the A49 in Shropshire a year ago in the early hours of the morning.

Baker admitted admitted causing the death of 61-year-old Mr Saunders by careless driving and was given a 26 month sentence, suspended for a year, the Evesham Journal reported.

Judge Jonathan Gosling told Baker: "No sentence I pass can put the clock back, nor can it give any comfort to Mr Saunders’ family and friends. His family have been left bereft by his loss.”

Baker was also sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, disqualified from driving for two years and must complete an extended driving test to regain his licence.



Huw Evans, for Baker, said: “He can only think that he was dazzled by on-coming traffic. His thoughts are very much with the family of Mr Baker and acknowledged the ordeal they have had to go through,” he said.

Last June we reported how the body of Michael Saunders was discovered at around 5am the following morning between Leebotwood and Dorrington by a tractor driver.

The victim had been riding home to Bayston Hill from his workplace in Church Stretton.

West Mercia Police traced a lorry that they believe may have been involved in the incident and went to South Wales to interview the driver.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

27 comments

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joe-irish [9 posts] 2 years ago
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Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

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bendertherobot [1481 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

Which bit? The hit and run bit? Or the rest?

It's an interesting one. If he was driving carefully then he should have pleaded not guilty. The fact that he said he had no idea he had hit someone does not necessarily mean that this was careless driving. And yet he admitted his guilt. I wonder why that was............

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Gus T [321 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

Do you mean to say that he drove away after being banned, if not the headline is correct and the sentence is a joke.

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willvousden [45 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

The headline reads like something out of the Sun. Many of these articles on road.cc seem to have a tabloid flavour to them.

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sw1sst [13 posts] 2 years ago
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Joke sentence.

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Beefy [381 posts] 2 years ago
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Hit and run, (cyclist hit by lorry which drove away) lorry driver (driver of lorry) pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving (pleads guilty) not given custodial sentance (walks away from court)

Am I missing something here ? Where is the inaccuracy in headline?  17

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don simon [1556 posts] 2 years ago
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willvousden wrote:
joe-irish wrote:

Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

The headline reads like something out of the Sun. Many of these articles on road.cc seem to have a tabloid flavour to them.

Seems to work in whipping up the anti-cycling sentiment. Fight fire with fire.
I don't see anything wrong with this headline as the driver did indeed walk away from the courthouse without a custodial sentence.

Quote:

Judge Jonathan Gosling told Baker: "No sentence I pass can put the clock back, nor can it give any comfort to Mr Saunders’ family and friends. His family have been left bereft by his loss.”

I'm surprised that Judge Jonathan Gosling hasn't quite got to grips with the idea of sending out a message to prevent future incidents like this. This devalues the life completely.
#RIP

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Housecathst [608 posts] 2 years ago
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bendertherobot wrote:
joe-irish wrote:

Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

Which bit? The hit and run bit? Or the rest?

It's an interesting one. If he was driving carefully then he should have pleaded not guilty. The fact that he said he had no idea he had hit someone does not necessarily mean that this was careless driving. And yet he admitted his guilt. I wonder why that was............

I can only assume that solicitors are full aware that if you admin to "careless driving" its in effect a get out of jail free card, a couple of point on your license, a £50 fine. Why take the risk that a jury of motorists might wake from their slumber and return a guilty verdict on one of there few motorists.

Interesting comments from the judge, paraphrasing, no sentence will bring the victims back so I won't even bothering giving you one, other than the bare minimum that is required.

I can only hope that the universe meters out its only punishment on this driver, "eye for an eye" style as we aren't going to get any justice out of our current legal system.

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sara d [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Joe irish....please be careful who you upset.I am the victims niece and if you read the full article in the Shropshire Star it will give you more information.I have also a post on the forum headlined cyclist death-hgv driver gets suspended sentance which goes into detail.The accused actually said he MIGHT have been dazzled by oncoming headlights (it was light at 4am when accident happened) and he couldnt remember.My family accept it has been an unfortunate accident but he did his best to swerve a jail sentance.Plus not once has he apologised to us.He gets go go back to his family-my uncle doesnt.

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joe-irish [9 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm sorry for your loss.

And to everyone else, i'm clearly not disputing the fact that the man literally walked out of the courtroom as opposed to some other method of transport.

I want to see a stop to the 'war on our roads' tabloiding.

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Plasterer's Radio [333 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

Headline does not accurately represent article text. Its anti-driver propaganda!

Fuck off Troll.

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BigManLittleHair [47 posts] 2 years ago
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You're probably doing the right thing accepting it as an accident. Without your closeness & knowledge of the case it's my assumption that he drove dangerously and carelessly resulting in the death of your uncle. He was so negligent in his responsibilities as a driver that he claims he didn't notice...

If i was the judge he'd be sleeping at the big house.

My thoughts are with you and your family and this tough time.

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Simon E [3154 posts] 2 years ago
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Meanwhile ITV's This Morning is planning a "cars vs bikes" feature next week.

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/battle-of-the-roads-cars-v-bikes

Hugely insulting to victims, their families... in fact to anyone who wants to get from A to B, whatever their method of doing so.

It's reminiscent of the pathetically inaccurate BBC 'documentary' from 2012 (http://road.cc/71714).

I have emailed thismorning [at] itv.com with my views on this moronic, counterproductive idea.

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Housecathst [608 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

Meanwhile ITV's This Morning is planning a "cars vs bikes" feature next week.

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/battle-of-the-roads-cars-v-bikes

Hugely insulting to victims, their families... in fact to anyone who wants to get from A to B, whatever their method of doing so.

It's reminiscent of the pathetically inaccurate BBC 'documentary' from 2012 (http://road.cc/71714).

I have emailed thismorning [at] itv.com with my views on this moronic, counterproductive idea.

Yeah they must have seen the "success" of the you and yours program and thought, we'll have a bit of that click bait.

Cue 20 minutes of air time being given over the a lorry driver and a taxi driver to play up to all there worst stereo types, "there in gangs, and they jump out you" "I heard all cyclists are Romanians"  35

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Das [243 posts] 2 years ago
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26 month sentence, suspended for a year! Not even suspended for the full 26 months. This country is a joke. So in real terms Michael Saunders life is worth 200 hours community service and a 2 year driving ban. Mean while in Scotland you get 4 years for accepting a bribe from a contractor to bung him jobs for the council. Something is clearly wrong when money takes precedence over a life................

Remember this sentence can be challenged as being unduly lenient by anyone, not just the CPS.

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joe-irish [9 posts] 2 years ago
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yeah, not a troll.

Legitimately, what purpose would a longer sentence serve the man.
What good would an advanced driving course be to the man, hes done bad, hes been issued punishment. Hes not the only person whos done damage to someone more vunerable than himself but you cant go making an example of everyone who does that by simply throwing them in jail for a longer time.
I doubt the driver is very pleased with himself, id go as far as to say thats a grand understatement.

Maybe we need a new form of punishment but somehow i dont see the solution being 'more jailtime'

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don simon [1556 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

yeah, not a troll.

Legitimately, what purpose would a longer sentence serve the man.
What good would an advanced driving course be to the man, hes done bad, hes been issued punishment. Hes not the only person whos done damage to someone more vunerable than himself but you cant go making an example of everyone who does that by simply throwing them in jail for a longer time.
I doubt the driver is very pleased with himself, id go as far as to say thats a grand understatement.

Maybe we need a new form of punishment but somehow i dont see the solution being 'more jailtime'

Becsause people learn from their mistakes, you say?
I say not.
http://road.cc/content/news/47057-eilidh-cairns-killer-implicated-second...
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/lorry-driver-banned-from-the-roads...
These people need harsher sentences, not leniency.

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sara d [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Joe irish-you don't agree with the headline and you don't agree with jail...maybe you should be looking at an article that doesn't grind your gears.Or are you related to the accused???

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mike the bike [982 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

..... Legitimately, what purpose would a longer sentence serve the man.
What good would an advanced driving course be to the man ....

To answer your first question, one of the functions of our justice system is to act as a deterrent. As long as drivers who kill are given such light sentences where is that deterrent?

Your second question is easily answered. An advanced driving course would make him a better driver, which might reduce the chance of him committing a similar offence.

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Plasterer's Radio [333 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

yeah, not a troll.

Legitimately, what purpose would a longer sentence serve the man.
What good would an advanced driving course be to the man, hes done bad, hes been issued punishment. Hes not the only person whos done damage to someone more vunerable than himself but you cant go making an example of everyone who does that by simply throwing them in jail for a longer time.
I doubt the driver is very pleased with himself, id go as far as to say thats a grand understatement.

Maybe we need a new form of punishment but somehow i dont see the solution being 'more jailtime'

Read the post from sara d.

Then go and crawl back to where you came from.

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Kim [250 posts] 2 years ago
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It is time we ended the culture of the Sacred Driving Licence, this should have been a charge of manslaughter. The deaths of non motorists road users should not be considered acceptable collateral damage!

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vonhelmet [847 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

yeah, not a troll.

Legitimately, what purpose would a longer sentence serve the man.
What good would an advanced driving course be to the man, hes done bad, hes been issued punishment. Hes not the only person whos done damage to someone more vunerable than himself but you cant go making an example of everyone who does that by simply throwing them in jail for a longer time.
I doubt the driver is very pleased with himself, id go as far as to say thats a grand understatement.

Maybe we need a new form of punishment but somehow i dont see the solution being 'more jailtime'

We need there to be a deterrent factor to poor driving, as has been said. At present, there is basically nothing to deter people from driving badly because the odds of getting caught doing anything naughty are astronomical, and furthermore even if you are caught the punishment is trivial.

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muppetteer [95 posts] 2 years ago
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This is why we should have strict liability.

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bendertherobot [1481 posts] 2 years ago
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muppetteer wrote:

This is why we should have strict liability.

It isn't. Strict liability is a civil concept, not a criminal one.

We should NEVER have any criminal concept which presumes guilt. Never.

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Simmo72 [672 posts] 2 years ago
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So if you rob a bank and hide the money, then the judge will give you a light ticking off as no punishment can return the money.

I'm not sure from this report if the driver was aware he had hid the poor man. If he had then he should be in jail for the max sentence. If he has not then you have to understand the reasons leading up to why. Either way, the punishment is light, the loss terrible and the precedent to other careless road users negligible. The judge failed.

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ChrisB200SX [566 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

Meanwhile ITV's This Morning is planning a "cars vs bikes" feature next week.

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/battle-of-the-roads-cars-v-bikes

I'm lost for words having just had a quick look at that page. "Cyclist vigilantes", nope, just people with cameras in public places.

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PaulBox [679 posts] 2 years ago
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joe-irish wrote:

yeah, not a troll.

Legitimately, what purpose would a longer sentence serve the man.
What good would an advanced driving course be to the man, hes done bad, hes been issued punishment. Hes not the only person whos done damage to someone more vunerable than himself but you cant go making an example of everyone who does that by simply throwing them in jail for a longer time.
I doubt the driver is very pleased with himself, id go as far as to say thats a grand understatement.

Maybe we need a new form of punishment but somehow i dont see the solution being 'more jailtime'

Are you serious???

What are you thinking, restrict his 'XBox' time at the weekend, take his phone off him or perhaps put him on the naughty step for a couple of hours?