Bristol tandem hit and run driver charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving

Man charged over deaths of tandem riding couple

by Tony Farrelly   January 29, 2013  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

The man arrested by police after he handed himself in at a Bristol police station following the deaths of a couple riding a tandem in an incident on the outskirts of Bristol has been charged with two counts causing death by dangerous driving and will appear before North Avon Magistrates Court on Wednesday 30th of January.

38-year-old Nicholas Lovell has also been charged with driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Ross and Clare Simons who had been married for 18 months were killed on Sunday afternoon in Hanham on the eastern fringes of the city when the tandem they were riding was struck by a citroen car in the Lower Hanham Road, they both died at the scene from their injuries.

On Monday Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that not long before the fatal collision a patrol car had asked the driver of the Citroen involved to pull over, but he had refused to do so instead driving off. According to the police the officer then followed the vehicle but almost immediately lost sight of it and was not in pursuit of it when the fatal collision occurred.

A 35 year old woman also arrested in connection with this collision remains on police bail.

18 user comments

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any bets on what kind of slap on the wrist this joker is gonna get?

posted by mad_scot_rider [546 posts]
29th January 2013 - 23:49

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Two 35 pound fines then? He'll have to make a special trip to the cash machine.

Seriously, he'll probably do some semi-serious time, but only because of the rule-breaking, not the taking of innocents lives.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
29th January 2013 - 23:56

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Dupe

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
29th January 2013 - 23:57

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He's clearly a dangerous zero empathy scumbag. Personally I would do everyone a favour and throw him in a hole.

posted by Rockplough [10 posts]
30th January 2013 - 0:08

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What sentencing guidelines will the CPS go for with this one I wonder.

Driving while disqualified
Driving without insurance
Leaving the scene of an accident.

Safe to assume that he doesnt REALLY care much for anyone else except himself. The CPS will most likely place a lot of emphasis on the fact that he turned himself in.

Dreading to see what pathetic sentence will be given

nige

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posted by formereve [65 posts]
30th January 2013 - 1:09

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formereve wrote:
What sentencing guidelines will the CPS go for with this one I wonder.

Driving while disqualified
Driving without insurance
Leaving the scene of an accident.

Safe to assume that he doesnt REALLY care much for anyone else except himself. The CPS will most likely place a lot of emphasis on the fact that he turned himself in.

Dreading to see what pathetic sentence will be given

It's the judge who follows the sentencing guidelines, not the CPS. They've brought the charges.

The defence lawyer would plead mitigation, not the CPS.

Several aggravating factors at work here, both among the charges and the reported sequence of events (failure to stop at police signal to do so), each of which would be likely to add to the punishment if found guilty at trial.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8031 posts]
30th January 2013 - 1:20

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I suspect this guy will do at least a reasonable amount of time, because 1. he's been charged with death by dangerous driving, which is not usually applied to the majority of other cases that are reported here and which end with a slap on the wrist, and 2. in those other cases, as has already been discussed in other threads, there is probably an element of "that could be me" when typically law-abiding people simply don't look/see/consider other road users, but those same jurors/judges can't relate to the array of wreckless behaviour shown by this clown in the build-up to the crash.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3108 posts]
30th January 2013 - 9:41

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http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/death_by_dangerous_driving/

well here are the CPS guidelines for death by dangerous driving,

Who wants to place bets on Level 3 being applicable.

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posted by mrmo [1074 posts]
30th January 2013 - 9:52

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Some of the "lesser" charges will no doubt be dropped if he pleads guilty to the more serious offence, it's basically plea bargaining that goes on before each and every case between cps and defence barristers.

If he pleads guilty to death by dangerous they will have agreed to push for the lesser sentencing as stated above (level 3).

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2712 posts]
30th January 2013 - 10:25

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mrmo wrote:
http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/death_by_dangerous_driving/

well here are the CPS guidelines for death by dangerous driving,

Who wants to place bets on Level 3 being applicable.

Level 3, ? Surely Not? Has to be Level 1, given all the factors. makes me feel nauseous just thinking about what this low life has done.

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
30th January 2013 - 10:30

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It should be level 1, but as with anything, some parts will be dropped.

SO level 2 would be 10 years minimum (5 for each death) but he'd be out in 5.....I want to see LIFE, its murder in my eyes

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
30th January 2013 - 10:32

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notfastenough wrote:
I suspect this guy will do at least a reasonable amount of time, because 1. he's been charged with death by dangerous driving, which is not usually applied to the majority of other cases that are reported here and which end with a slap on the wrist, and 2. in those other cases, as has already been discussed in other threads, there is probably an element of "that could be me" when typically law-abiding people simply don't look/see/consider other road users, but those same jurors/judges can't relate to the array of wreckless behaviour shown by this clown in the build-up to the crash.

I'm hoping your correct; and this time the punishment does fit the crime!

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
30th January 2013 - 10:33

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Some of the earlier reports suggested he was deliberately targeting pedestrians. Surely that goes beyond dangerous driving and is at the very least manslaughter?

posted by b3nharris [46 posts]
30th January 2013 - 11:03

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Do I get this right? although this guy seems to tick all the boxes for level 1 if his defense plea bargains the lesser offences against the greater offence then the lesser offences don't count and so he will drop to level 2 or 3?
My wife and I have been tandemists since 1982 I tried to keep this incident from her as she has become increasingly nervous over recent years with regard to the deteriorating behavior of many road users, hopefully she will continue to enjoy cycling with me despite this terrible event.
We must not let ourselves be deterred.

onward ever onward

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posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
30th January 2013 - 11:15

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bikecellar, basically it can happen that way. To save money and time on a trial the barristers will sit down and try to come to some arrangement whereby he pleads to the main offence and the cps will "offer no evidence" in the other lesser charges.

This only happens though if he pleads and then its upto the barristers to argue over mitigation with the judge.

Gkam - if he got 5 years for each death they may run concurrently (both at the same time) so he will be out in 2.5 years but hopefully the judge will give him consecutively which run one after the other so he will do 5 years. This is just presumption that he gets 5 years of course, he may get more or less.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2712 posts]
30th January 2013 - 11:52

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Even if level3, there's several of the aggravating factors covered.

posted by JonD [180 posts]
30th January 2013 - 13:09

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Can anyone explain why there is even an offence called "Causing death by dangerous driving"? In France the charge would be manslaughter. In this country causing death by act or omission, but without malice aforethought, is a lesser offence if driving a car at the time!

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
30th January 2013 - 14:33

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Even if it's level 3, the starting point is 3 years and the sentencing range is 2-5 years. Also at least half the the aggrevating factors come in to play;

- More than one person killed as a result of the offence
- Other offences committed at the same time, such as driving other than in accordance with the terms of a valid licence; driving while disqualified
- The offender's irresponsible behaviour such as failing to stop
- Driving off in an attempt to avoid detection or apprehension

Dispite this I'm betting on 18 months, out in less than a year with 'good behaviour'. Of course, this all depends of the CPS managing to obtain a conviction.

posted by qwerky [134 posts]
31st January 2013 - 9:57

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