Motorist found guilty of killing Pat Kenny receives community order

Striking similarity to sentence handed down days previously in A40 case

by Simon_MacMichael   April 2, 2012  

Gavel

A motorist found guilty of causing the death by careless driving last year of record-breaking cyclist Pat Kenny has been banned from driving for 12 months and given a community order that will require him to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work, reports the Express and Star.

The sentence handed down to 46-year-old Andrew Mylrea from Derby by Judge Simon Tonking at Stafford Court last Friday is almost identical to the one just days earlier to 51-year-old Paul Luker by Harrow Crown Court for causing the death by careless driving of RAF officer Group Captain Tomas Barrett.

Luker received a 12-month driving ban and a community order under which he will have to undertake 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Like Luker, Mylrea, who works as the head of an aero-engine safety team at Rolls Royce in Derby, had claimed that he may have been blinded by the sun prior to the incident that claimed 72-year-old Mr Kenny’s life last year on the A38 near Burton-on-Trent.

Sentencing Mylrea, who had denied the charge, Judge Tonking said: “This is not a case for a custodial sentence.

“I accept you are normally a careful and considerate driver – this was a complete aberration. Your carelessness was failing to see Mr Kenny and his bicycle.”

In mitigation, David Mason QC had said: “Mr Mylrea has always accepted he caused the death of Mr Kenny, the issue was whether it amounted to criminality.”

On Friday, the judge told the court that a member of Mr Kenny’s family had said of Mylrea, “It’s not so much that he made a mistake, but that he would not acknowledge it”.

The judge added: “I note from the pre-sentence report he has now acknowledged that he was in error.”

Mr Kenny, who lived in Whittington near Lichfield, rode more than 900,000 miles during his lifetime and in 1980 set a new record of two days, ten hours and 30 minutes for cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats by tricycle.
 

17 user comments

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Isn't it about time someone put together some kind of study of these cases? Why is killing someone this way not taken seriously?

Incidentally, gavels aren't used in courtrooms. Not in this country, anyway.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [156 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 11:27

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Evidently then dangerous driving is not a criminal offence. This proves something we have known for a long time - that it is legal to kill someone with your car.

Alg

posted by alg [120 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 11:52

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"careless driving"

Well...why would you care, when there are no consequences?

Sad

posted by twinklydave [2 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 12:14

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This is an absolute disgrace.... Justice????? Confused

Who the hell even thinks like this? Where the hell is the justice? With justice like this being dished out why should anyone give a monkey's about cyclists, pedestrians or any other motorists - it's not rollerball judge!

Steal something from a shop, oh' and whatever you do, don't forget to pay your tax as for similar 'offences' as these one can expect the same as killing someone and leaving thier family without Dad, Grandad, Brother, Sister, Son,,,, and so the list goes on.

When will this Government ever do something REAL about this recurring nightmare instead of pontificating, self congratulating and attending Canary Wharf recent tax reduction celebrations.

My sincere feelings go to the family - certainly not to the driver, or the judge - everyone has thier judgement day.

Trikeman.

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

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posted by trikeman [346 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 13:17

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My sympathies are with the family of the victim

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1786 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 13:37

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“I accept you are normally a careful and considerate driver – this was a complete aberration. Your carelessness was failing to see Mr Kenny and his bicycle.”

So not seeing another road user until you hit them is compatible with being a careful and considerate driver now, is it?

posted by msw [121 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 14:37

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A 12 month driving ban ? What a disgrace. Why can't the idiot be banned for life ?

No-one needs to drive. I am 50 years old and have never owned a motor vehicle of any description and don't intend to.

British justice is naught but a joke. Sad

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posted by michophull [90 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 15:23

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Getting drunk and tweeting the world to show you are an ignorant racist gets a custodial sentence. Killing someone in your car doesn't. Bonkers.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [231 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 15:28

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Same old story.

Imagine any occupation where a "normally careful and considerate" employee had an "aberration" that resulted in someone's death. Would they be allowed to return to their job 12 months later?

I'm not of the opinion that prison is helpful in these cases, but the law in this country totally fails to deal with negligent driving - in terms both of "nipping it in the bud" before people get killed, and of taking proven negligent drivers off the road and only letting them back on with substantial proof of competence.

We need a campaign for more and longer driving bans for all safety related motoring offences. We have a serious cultural problem with our tolerance of minor acts of inattention that have the potential turn fatal in an instant.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [298 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 15:58

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So if someone is out driving, then the sun gets in their eyes causing them to mow down a group of children for example, they can expect to have to do some litter picking or something for punishment? Plus they can drive again in a years time? Is this for real? What a shambles the law can be.

posted by stevebull-01 [52 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 16:38

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We should all say "NO!" to this and do the following:

- write to the local papers that have reported the story to express our concern for the family and friends of Mr Kenny. Add in that this sentence is wrong, very very wrong.

Two cyclists have been jailed for killing pedestrians in recent years (Darren Hall, Robert Lambert), this is in stark contrast with both the risk cyclists pose, and the sentences handed to drivers who kill others (not just cyclists - though the Cath Ward, Rob Jefferies and other cases can be mentioned)

Mention the fact that a tweeter got 56 days prison for racist comment on Twitter, also failed their appeal. A fair sentence imo.

- write to your cycle campaign groups (CTC, British Cycling etc) and ask them to campaign, even co-sign a letter for a Judicial Review on these sentences so that better guidelines can be set up. We want no other victim or their family to go through this.

- Write to your MP, the #cyclesafe newspapers (The Times, Independent and Guardian) and raise justice as a major issue.

We have to raise this as a priority. "Blinded by the sun" is the same excuse as "sorry mate I didnt see you" - it really means "I wasn't looking properly".

Angry

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posted by downfader [172 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 17:36

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Again it's all down to misjudging the appropriate speed for the conditions. When I'm driving and I suddenly get sun in the windscreen I slow down. When I hit fog or heavy rain I slow down. When it gets to dusk I put my lights on. Meanwhile - others carry on regardless. That's life.

I would favour the return of Public Information Films to educate on all aspects of road safety whether it's assuming there is a horse or pedestrian around every country lane corner - rather than assuming there isn't- or that it's sensible to use your effin indicators on the motorway when sweeping across all 3 lanes to exit. : )

Nanny state? Maybe But educating the masses about motoring skills and driving good practice have been abandoned as a state responsibility over the past 40 years and it shows.

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [866 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 20:29

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Don't know quite how to react anymore - it's all a bad joke.

Notice he's not even sure himself how it happened - he "may have been blinded by the sun"?! Just how 'careless' does your driving have to be that even after you murder someone you can't be bothered to figure out quite how you did it?

It's as though he couldn't even bring himself to believe the crap excuse he was giving the court. Did the judge feed him the line? "You were unable to see - were you perhaps blinded by the sun?"
"Err I may have been, yeah."

Apparently ending the life of some old bloke on a bike didn't really figure on this guy's radar...

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 20:32

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downfader wrote:

Mention the fact that a tweeter got 56 days prison for racist comment on Twitter, also failed their appeal. A fair sentence imo.

Angry

Well put Downfader - the racist tweeter got his just punishment but you've given this some useful perspective.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1786 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 21:37

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A very poor judgement by the courts of law. Human life is iriplaceable; and taking a life by driving without due care an attention, should carry a sentance for more severe than community service! At presant the law is an ASS, especially concening the death of pedestrians and cyclists.

It's about time to get tough on anyone who causes the death of another person! Let the punishment fit the crime! And believe me; it's certainly a crime when a life is lost.

posted by Mostyn [368 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 15:30

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You strongly get the feeling that Mr Kenny was NOT the type of rider to throw himself in front of a car from the pavement, that he was an experienced and sensible rider.

The driver's actions and skills clearly let down and endangered Mr Kenny.

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posted by downfader [172 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 15:36

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Agree and then some. Disgrace. What were the drivers in, Jags? I tend to think that much of the reason for the discrepancy in the terms is down to class - but this is an utter guess without knowing the facts. But then that didn't seem to stop the judges in these cases making an obvious mistake.

I just don't understand what goes through the minds of some drivers. I even had a car skim past me on a narrow road, yet slow down for a pheasant 30 yards up the road.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

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posted by ragtag [127 posts]
4th April 2012 - 10:46

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