Inquest into Paula Jurek's death postponed as police take 7 months to consider charging driver

Still no decision as to whether lorry driver will be charged in connection with 20-year-old student's death

by Simon_MacMichael   November 18, 2011  

road.cc news

A coroner’s inquest into the death of Paula Jurek, the cyclist killed in a collision with an HGV in North London in April, has been delayed because police and the Crown Prosecution Service have not yet reached a decision over whether to charge the lorry driver involved.

Ms Jurek, a travel and tourism student at London Metropolitan University, died at the junction of Camden Road and St Pancras Way. At the time, the 65-year-old driver of the lorry was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving. He was later released on bail, reports the Camden New Journal.

Despite seven months having passed, police have not yet decided whether to press charges and a spokesman told the newspaper on Monday that there was “no update” on the situation.

The inquest into her death had been due to open at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Thursday 10 November, but has now been postponed.

Camden Cycling Champion Councillor Paul Braithwaite said: “There’s been no action seven months after this sad fatality. This is a disgrace. If we are to avoid more deaths like Ms Jurek, we need action now.”

The newspaper reported that a white ghost bike put up at the site where Ms Jurek died had been targeted by thieves, who had taken its wheels.

8 user comments

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The lack of action suggests that the police simply don't care.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2205 posts]
18th November 2011 - 12:13

6 Likes

My g/f saw afrermath of this as she lives near by.
Due process must be followed but 7 months?
There is a service & memorial in next few days for another young woman killed in Camden borough. Saw sonething in Camden New Journal last week.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [444 posts]
18th November 2011 - 12:27

2 Likes

oh for gods sake, 7 months? And then what, a small fine and off he goes again, putting other cyclist's lives in danger ...

posted by Karbon Kev [677 posts]
18th November 2011 - 12:38

2 Likes

At home, rather than on phone, now so can do a search. Worth a separate news item over the weekend? A young lady called Deep on this occasion, 11th in 5 years in Camden.

http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/nov/cyclist-deaths-csm-college...

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [444 posts]
18th November 2011 - 13:37

1 Like

I work in the criminal justice system and I can say that one of the most concerning things that has occurred in recent years is extended bail to return dates lasting many months and then a decision to take no further action. In some cases my clients have been on police bail for more than a year. Astonishing. Police blame the cps who ultimately have responsibility for most charging decisions.
Put simply, the cps often want to dot every eye etc before charge. They want as cast iron a case as possible but that is rarely possible. Also, the longer an investigation goes on the more likely that the police lose interest and the more likely a decision not to charge. And where charged it is a responsibility of any professional lawyer to point out that a defendant has spent many months, perhaps as much as a year, waiting and worrying about a charge and the consequences. A judge will often take it into account when sentencing for all but the most serious of charges. Then, if the charge is contested what do you think happens to witnesses memory or recollection in the meantime? I think the general public would be enraged at how long decisions to prosecute or not routinely take and the number of no further actions too.

bobinski

posted by bobinski [117 posts]
18th November 2011 - 13:39

1 Like

Thanks for the insight, Bobinski, very revealing.

Though we can at least take reassurance from the fact that if it's someone looting a packet of cigarettes fro the local convenience store, the forces of justice will spring into action immediately.

Dead cyclists, though? What's the rush?

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8115 posts]
18th November 2011 - 13:46

1 Like

As mentioned above, it is not the choice of the police to decide whether to charge a driver in circs like this. It is, has been for many years, and probably will be for a long time to come yet - the decision of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service, or as they are known in pleece circles Can't Prosecute Sorry) whether to charge or not.

An investigation of this sort has many many factors, not least the gathering, viewing and assessing all the available evidence, computer modelling and mathematic equations to try and recreate the facts of the collision. There is of course family to think of also. This is not a cycling specific issue and applies to most/all road deaths. The team carrying out this investigation will not just be working on the one investigation, they will be working on multiple cases, all of which take time to prepare the best possible evidence of the worst possible offence. You could probably whack an accident card through CPS and a few one line statements in a matter of a week, but do you think for one minute that justice would be done? No, of course not.

Sometimes the length of time can be due to people who witnessed the incident not being able to go through the trauma of providing a witness statement until they have perhaps had counselling etc and got over the initial shock.

I've been to many (too many) road deaths over the last decade and would like to say to ridgeback that I'm disgusted by his/her comments - I was at the scene of an RTC involving a 5 year old child who died at the scene - probably one of the single most traumatic things that I have seen in my life so far - and for you to flippantly suggest that police don't care is shortsighted, ill informed and downright ignorant!

charlie bravo's picture

posted by charlie bravo [51 posts]
18th November 2011 - 15:26

1 Like

I've been to many (too many) road deaths over the last decade and would like to say to ridgeback that I'm disgusted by his/her comments - I was at the scene of an RTC involving a 5 year old child who died at the scene - probably one of the single most traumatic things that I have seen in my life so far - and for you to flippantly suggest that police don't care is shortsighted, ill informed and downright ignorant!

I apologise. I've seen some pretty unpleasant road accidents in the past in Africa and wouldn't wish that spectacle on anyone.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2205 posts]
21st November 2011 - 21:44

1 Like