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Delivery driver claimed to have suffered blackout before impact

A delivery driver who struck a cyclist and left him dying in the road has been given a 12 month driving ban, a 200 hour community service order and a one year jail sentence suspended for 18 months, reports the Lancashire Telegraph.

Andrew Edwards, 47, who admitted the charge of causing death by careless driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident, had simply driven on after his van struck 36-year-old Michael Isherwood in November last year.

The impact is said to have launched the victim around 50-feet down the road and despite attempts at CPR by a passing motorists he succumbed to what were described as “catastrophic” injuries. Michael had been riding to work in a cycle lane in Kelbrook Road, Salterforth, Lancs. when he was killed.

Mr Edwards stopped his vehicle 200 metres further on, inspected the damage and even saw the aftermath of the collision as he drove back along the road but still failed to stop and render assistance or identify himself.

Yesterday the hearing at Burnley Crown Court was told that the driver claimed to have suffered a blackout before the impact and had not seen the cyclist. The prosecution, however, stated that when accounting for the damage to the van he had given different accounts to different people.

When arrested the day after the collision Edwards asked police: "Was it that bump yesterday? I didn't know he was dead."

The defence claimed Edwards was under stress at the time following recent brain surgery to his partner and had only returned to work on the day of the collision after a period of three weeks leave. The court heard he had set off for work at 2.35am.

Detective Inspector Mark Rothwell, of Lancashire Police, who led the investigation, said: “Michael Isherwood was on what most people would regard as a very safe piece of road for cycling.

“It is a long, straight and wide stretch with a clearly designated cycle lane. Michael was within that lane and was then catapulted 50-feet to his death by a driver who himself was under pressure through his domestic circumstances, but there was no excuse to leave the scene.

"It is a tragic case from which there is no winner.”

This particular case generated a good deal of comment on road.cc when the decision to charge Edwards with causing death by careless driving and failing to stop was made.

Some commenters felt that the offence warranted a charge of manslaughter but the Lancashire Crown Prosecution Service told us at the time that the defendant had been “charged with the charge which best reflected the evidence.”
 

22 comments

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moggotlover [13 posts] 5 years ago
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Beggers believe  2

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londonplayer [620 posts] 5 years ago
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If we had a 3ft2 pass law in the UK, then in cases such as this, you would hope that the court would have thrown the book at him. why only a 12 month ban? why not 10 years?

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SCOTTEX [9 posts] 5 years ago
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Pathetic.."Oh I've been having a bad day, Officer". "OK it doesn't matter, just hold out your hand and I'll gently tap your wrist". Solicitors and magistrates, as long as their lining their pockets they don't give a toss.

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djcritchley [181 posts] 5 years ago
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"Mr Edwards stopped his vehicle 200 metres further on, inspected the damage and even saw the aftermath of the collision as he drove back along the road ..." and he still did not feel the need to stop or even call the emergency services?

Prime Minister's Questions today:-
1222: The prime minister is asked whether he'll back calls to increase the sentence for causing death by careless driving. He says the matter is being looked at in the sentencing review and he hopes progress will be made.

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thereverent [406 posts] 5 years ago
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Another depressing result in the courts for causing death while driving.
His defence of the blackout looks suspect, but the fact he didn't stop afterwards should have meant some time in jail.

At the very least a lifetime driving abn should have been imposed. Having 'blacked-out' once, he is too bigger risk to have on the roads.

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Phaedrus [14 posts] 5 years ago
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I've aid it before and I'll say it again, if you ever wanted to get away with murder talk the victim into riding a bike then follow them around in your car, even of you do get caught the sentence will be derisory

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Simon E [2722 posts] 5 years ago
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He kills someone, and it's a hit & run.
He lies.
And so gets just a 12 month ban and a spot of litter-picking?

Incredible.

I don't give a f..k about his 'circumstances', he has a responsibility to every other person around him, whether he likes it or not.

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Mark Appleton [46 posts] 5 years ago
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@thereverent, yeah, I regularly "blackout" too. In fact every night, usually about 15 minutes after my head touches the pillow.

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therevokid [948 posts] 5 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

he has a responsibility to every other person around him, whether he likes it or not.

Well said.

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Matt_S [255 posts] 5 years ago
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Phaedrus wrote:

I've aid it before and I'll say it again, if you ever wanted to get away with murder talk the victim into riding a bike then follow them around in your car, even of you do get caught the sentence will be derisory

Good to know if anyone thinks we could do with a new Prime Minister or Mayor.

As usual, this is totally pathetic. It just makes you sick to the stomach.

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chatty31 [78 posts] 5 years ago
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Absolutley Disgusting.................It makes my blood boil......

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dlp [51 posts] 5 years ago
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"It is a tragic case from which there is no winner" I disagree with this statement fairly strongly. It seems to me (and evidently a few others too) that Mr Edwards got off very lightly.

*Even if* he did black out, surely stopping to take note of the damage to his vehicle AND the aftermath of the incident should ensure a sterner sentence and a life ban from driving. Especially as his reaction when questioned by the police was apparently "I didn't know he was dead" - obviously Mr Edwards feels that potentially putting someone in a 'chair or turning them into a vegetable is acceptable. It's only if you know they're dead that you should sit up and take notice.

Like others have said, his personal situation is NOT a licence to do whatever he bloody well likes and (essentially) be let off because he was having 'a bad day'.

This is a sad reflection of the disdain for cyclists by large segments of society, the media and the justice system.

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37monkey [138 posts] 5 years ago
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......................

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Dane [12 posts] 5 years ago
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 2 This is desperately sad. And another case where the victim is forgotten by the CPS, it is focused wholly upon the defendant. Make an example of this moron, people need consequences for their actions.

There needs to be a 3 ft law as a previous poster said, people arent intelligent enough to be trusted on what gap to use when passing. Government guidlines and consequences are the only thing these idiots listen to.

Why isnt this covered on the national news outlets?

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james-o [235 posts] 5 years ago
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It doesn't change the incident or outcome of course, but failing to stop in this manner - even taking a look to see what happened and STILL not stopping - is shameful, shocking, callous and just wrong in every way.

That element alone deserves a far more serious sentance.

If you're having a tough time in life you still have a responsibility to those around you.

When will the UK's legal system grow a pair?

A 3ft passing law would be ignored by the same people who use phones or speed in their cars. Pointless without enforcement and lack of enforcement and deterrent is the main problem with road safety.

Deterrent and accountability is the only solution. look past this 'war on the motorist' media BS and look at the carnage caused by drivers - the war on the rest of us.

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martin100 [4 posts] 5 years ago
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I am not sure how much of what was discussed in court can be re told in the public domain with out myself being sued for slander, thats the world we live in! but if this organisation could get a copy of the sentecing report legaly and reproduce it in full on this site, I think many people would be shocked!

It is very unlikely that the family will get financial compensation to any value other than the cost of the bike and perhaps the cost of a headstone, Michael being single with no dependants. It is unlikely to cover the cost of the funeral the legal people say.

The police have been criticised in some of the coments but to be fair they got the man who did the hit and run and a lot of time and effort put in foresically to prove without doubt that the vehicle was the one that did the damage. On the day of the accident we were told 160 officers were involved.

It is not the Police who sentence criminals it is the Courts.

The Police did say that there have been many instances of cyclists being sued for knocking pedestrians down and in accidents,being a member of a cycling club with legal representation has helped greatly in the cases of cyclists being injured or sued.

Having seen the front page headlines on the local and regional newspapers involved with this case, it is clear that most people are outraged with the outcome of this case.

Martin Cleaver (Michaels Employer and family friend)

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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 5 years ago
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The courts sentence offenders based on evidence given by the Police, unfortunately sometimes this evidence isn't always correct or as concise as it could be, which regrettably will change the outcome of a ruling.

The CPS and all involved with the case will be aware of what the offender will likely get.

Given the drivers stress levels and potential health implications linked with this, he should not have been driving. There's prosecution in this fact alone. Who knows why supposedly normal rational people flee from the scene of an accident, but a 12 month ban based on all the attributed factors is just too short.

I'm troubled by what he tells us as "A bump he had yesterday"

Unless the driver was unconscious at the time, it would have been far more that a bump.

Can anyone advise on the steps taken by a driver once being banned form driving. Do they have to retake a test? Can he or she just get into a car a day after the ban expires?

I caught a clip of a POV reality Police TV show last week where a guy was caught driving whilst under the influence of drink, he was totally gone, couldn't even stand up. Yet, he was already banned from driving and "had 6 offenses to his name for drink driving", The narrator exclaimed! Clearly people like this are always going to offend, but is it not a measure of the offenders record but a failure in criminal law that allows these people to still be free to commit these type of crimes?

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martin100 [4 posts] 5 years ago
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The Judge did have the option in this case to order a re-test but he did not take this option just a ban for a year in which one assumes the licence is returned and you get back in your van!

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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 5 years ago
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Personally i think a re-test should be mandatory, by definition - banned means he or she is not fit to hold a license, and therefore he or she would need to take a test to regain this license

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lesliejames [44 posts] 5 years ago
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It would be nice to see a photograph of Mr. Andrew Edwards

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Recumbenteer [166 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm all for a life ban for causing the death or serious injury of a VRU. Combined with a length custodial sentence. And custodial sentence for breaching the life ban after release.

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monty dog [457 posts] 4 years ago
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Too often the sentencing guidelines focus on the events rather than the consequences - he would have probably received the same guidelines if he'd hit some roadside furniture. The judge should have struck the defence evidence of a 'blackout' if there was no medical diagnosis. We all often have to deal with stress, but it doesn't give me a warrant to drive into people.