Man who killed cyclist given eight month prison sentence

Across country, man who swam in the Thames handed down six months in prison

by Sarah Barth   October 20, 2012  

Gavel

In the week that the Justice minister Helen Grant agreed to meet with British Cycling to discuss a review of sentencing policy for incidents involving cyclists, a driver has been jailed for eight months after killing a cyclist on a country road.

The case, in which school teacher Neil Thompson, 54, was killed by William Manson, 62, was heard in Leicester Crown Court, where the jury was told that Manson failed to properly judge the speed of an oncoming vehicle when trying to overtake Mr Thompson.

On realising he could not complete the overtaking maneuver, Manson pulled back into his lane, hitting the cyclist and forcing him over the handlebars.

While Manson was handed down an eight month sentence that the judge described as "a message" to other drivers, across the country in  Isleworth Crown Court, London, a man who swam in the Thames to disrupt the annual Boat Race was jailed for six months for "spoil[ing] the enjoyment of others.”

Despite the judge describing Manson's actions as "carelessness to the point of dangerousness", which could be assumed to register at the higher end of sentencing guidelines for careless driving, currently set at five years' imprisonment, Manson was given the lower tariff of six months.

The incident happened at 5pm on January 19 in Newtown Unthank, near Desford, on a series of country roads that both men knew well.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said that Mr Thompson was cycling in a "perfectly proper" manner, about a foot into the road from the edge, with front and rear lights, according to This Is Leicestershire.

Mr Murphy said: "As the road straightened he commenced overtaking the bicycle."

Manson was also banned from driving for two years. Sentencing, Judge Sylvia De Bertodano said: "It was carelessness to the point of dangerousness.

"A message has to go out that people who drive cars are in charge of a very dangerous machine.

"If you fail to exercise responsibility and kill someone, you must go to prison."

Manson's lawyer Paul Tubb had argued for leniency, saying that his client "now faces losing his job, which involves a 50-mile round trip each day.

"He would be like a fish out of water if sent to prison."

13 user comments

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"Manson's lawyer Paul Tubb had argued for leniency, saying that his client "now faces losing his job, which involves a 50-mile round trip each day.

"He would be like a fish out of water if sent to prison.""

That's sort of the point isn't it Mr Lawyer?

posted by Nick T [615 posts]
20th October 2012 - 15:38

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"Manson's lawyer Paul Tubb had argued for leniency,..."
Mr Tubb; He killed another human being and got only 8 months in prison from which he'll be out in 4 less any other time he spent in custody.
He'll also be in one of the lowest category holiday camps because he's not a murderer, just careless.
I think that's lenient enough, don't you?

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [526 posts]
20th October 2012 - 15:59

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'Carelessness _to the point of_ dangerousness'

'to the point of'!?

I reckon it went a bit beyond that to have resulted in another person's death.

We really are in thrall to the automobile aren't we!

posted by Mountainboy [63 posts]
20th October 2012 - 17:29

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Nick T wrote:
"Manson's lawyer Paul Tubb had argued for leniency, saying that his client "now faces losing his job, which involves a 50-mile round trip each day.

Diddums, den. Poor wee thing.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
20th October 2012 - 18:22

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"He would be like a fish out of water if sent to prison." WTF is that supposed to mean? Angry He is too posh? Gets claustrophobia? Doesn't like sharing a room? Must have breakfast in bed?

posted by SideBurn [732 posts]
20th October 2012 - 19:39

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SideBurn wrote:
"He would be like a fish out of water if sent to prison." WTF is that supposed to mean? Angry He is too posh? Gets claustrophobia? Doesn't like sharing a room? Must have breakfast in bed?

[[[[[ Sideburn----er, no. It means that within three minutes of entering the prison gates, Manson (Manson!) will fall to the floor, flop about for a while, and then expire. Ergo, a fish needs a car like Manson needs a bike.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [228 posts]
20th October 2012 - 22:38

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"It was carelessness to the point of dangerousness.

It was a bit past the point of dangerousness surely since the driver killed someone due to his rubbish driving. And who cares if he'd be a fish out of water in prison.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1941 posts]
20th October 2012 - 23:32

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This is almost as much an insult as just giving the guy a fine, but it light of earlier cases at least it's a step in the right direction.

To be fair to the defence lawyer, they would say that, it's kind of their job to get their client off with the least time/fine, so take it with a pinch of salt. The judge on the other hand needs to be clearer on what message they are sending.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
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posted by ragtag [137 posts]
20th October 2012 - 23:47

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I have to agree with Ragtag is not nearly enough for taken away anothers life, but considering some of the other sentences handed out for similar incidents (as reported on this site) it is a (small) step in the right direction.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [484 posts]
21st October 2012 - 9:49

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Those who depend on their cars for their work should drive particularly carefully.

The argument that they should be allowed to continue driving because otherwise they will have difficulty getting to work doesn't cut it when they have shown themselves unable to operate their vehicle safely and have killed another person through carelessness or lack of skill.

He can move or get another job, and if he gets around by bike for 2 years, then when he gets his license back in 2 he will better understand the importance of safe and considerate driving on public roads.

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posted by sparrow_h [35 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 10:12

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Meanwhile in Leeds, the chap who biffed Chris Kirkland the goal keeper get 16 weeks in prison.

so causing the death of someone is worth 2 whacks of a footballer!

Just imagine if he had been a premiership footballer (and a proper one not a goalie) he would have probably got a year in sing-sing

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [259 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 16:40

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Chico Mwamba mowed down an OAP on a ped. crossing and just got a 160 quid fine and not even a day's ban. I would say that he must have been pretty dangerous, so why the inconsistency of sentencing?

posted by mrcheerful [6 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 18:11

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People say things like "I live 582,820,402 miles from my job" like it just happened like that, and there were never any choices involved. There was no other job they could have had, no place else they could have lived.

They talk about driving as if we were all born with wheels and internal combustion engines, and to take those away is tantamount to a cruel amputation.

I'd rather be a fish out of water than human remains in a coffin.

Killers do not get to wail like they've been victimized. At least when his family visits him it will be for more than to weep and leave fresh flowers.

posted by DannyX [1 posts]
26th October 2012 - 22:52

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