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"People don't like cyclists," magistrate tells biking banker fined after police chase

Tanneguy De Carne led police on a 20 minute chase, repeatedly failing to stop. Cycling UK has raised concerns over magistrate comments, however, and suggests she disqualifies herself from future cycling cases

A banker was told "people don't like cyclists" by a magistrate in court yesterday where he was fined for repeatedly failing to stop cycling for officers during a police chase across the City of London.

Tanneguy Marie De Carne, 53, was pursued by officers from City of London Police after he swerved in front of their car in March on his bicycle, causing them to brake. Repeatedly failing to stop for police, he jumped a traffic light and rode on pavements, having later said he “panicked”.

De Carne, global head of high yield capital markets at SG Corporate & Investment Banking, pleaded guilty to dangerous cycling and failing to stop for police at City of London Magistrates’ Court yesterday, and was fined £2,460.

Chair of the Bench, Catherine Hobey-Hamsher, said “people don't like cyclists” and that De Carne was doing "nothing" to enhance the "low esteem cyclists already have".

Cycling UK says while courts are right to condemn reckless behaviour by all road users Hobey-Hamsher's comments vilify an entire road user group based on a “personal prejudice” and the charity says it will ask whether she will disqualify herself from future cases involving cyclists.

PC Neil Hossack told the court De Carne cycled dangerously and ignored red traffic lights on Mansion House Street on 21 March. De Carne went to turn left into Queen Victoria Street before suddenly changing direction and cutting across the path of a marked police car, causing its driver to brake. He proceeded through a set of traffic lights, and the police car followed with blue lights flashing, to try and stop him. De Carne continued riding, eventually leading officers down a busy side street packed with people.

Once there, PC Hossack said he was "cycling furiously on the footpath, without any regard for the pedestrians leaving the bars".

PC Hossack said: "As you cycled again onto the footpath, the police officer shouted at you to stop, which you finally did so."

Passing sentence, Catherine Hobey-Hamsher told De Carne: "The offence was sustained in every possible way.

​“A reasonable person would have stopped immediately.

"It is a silent danger, coming up behind people - they have no idea.

"And, above all, it diminishes the really rather low esteem cyclists already have.

"People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation."

De Carne told the court he cycles to work to de-stress. He said he had since taken part in a cycling safety course and he had tried to change his behaviour.

He said: "I admit the offences. I panicked, I thought I could continue cycling and I lost control.

"I am ashamed of what I have done, and it's a humbling experience, and again I am sorry.

"I am fortunate obviously that nothing serious happened at that time of evening, and it's been a stressful experience.

"I stopped as I realised the gravity and the reckless behaviour I was performing, and I spoke with the officers.

"I have tried to learn a lesson of what I was doing," he said.

For the offence of "sustained and really very dangerous wandering about the narrow streets and pavements of the City", De Carne will be fined £1,250.

For his "multiple refusals" to stop when a policeman asked him to, he was given a £1,000 fine.

De Carne was also made to pay £85 in court costs and a £125 victim surcharge.

Duncan Dollimore, Senior Legal Campaigns Officer at Cycling UK, raised concerns about the magistrate’s comments about cyclists, which he said vilify a road user group.

He said: "Cycling UK believe the courts are right to condemn reckless and dangerous behaviour by all road users, including cyclists. However, we don't believe it is one magistrate's right to vilify an entire road user group just because of their own personal prejudice.

"Cycling UK will be writing to City of London Magistrates Court to ask whether Chair of the Bench, Catherine Hobey-Hamsher will now disqualify herself from future cases involving cyclists, given her obvious dislike for them."

This article was amended on 27 October. The original article said "nobody likes cyclists". This was changed to "people don't like cyclists".

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43 comments

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kingleo | 7 years ago
0 likes

      Somebody tell her that cyclists are motorists and/ or pedestrians as well.

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Bikeylikey | 7 years ago
0 likes

What Duncan Dollimore of Cycling UK said was exactly right, and far more fair and reasonable than anything that magistrate said. Why is this person a magistrate at all, on any kind of case, not just cycling related ones?

'A reasonable person would have stopped immediately' for a start is an idiotic thing to say - he might well be a 'reasonable person' but as he said 'panicked' at that moment, probably for reasons he doesn't know himself. There's no such thing as consistently reasonable person, 100% of the time - doesn't she know this basic fact about human behaviour and psychology?

As for 'people don't like cyclists', it betrays this weird, dim idea that there are people, and there are cyclists - two different species. It's as if cyclists look sort of like people with wheels attached, and live in some strange world which overlaps annoyingly with the real one where 'people' live. Magistrates who 'think' like this (it's hardly merits the word 'thinking') should not be allowed to judge anyone.

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Kapelmuur | 7 years ago
0 likes

On the subject of the difference between punishments for driving and cycling offences, I had a chat yesterday with an elderly cyclist who said that he'd been knocked off his bike last year by a speeding driver who didn't stop.

The cyclist was left helpless in the road but 2 other motorists had witnessed the incident and used their cars to form a protective barrier until an ambulance arrived.   They also were able to give police information that lead to the arrest of the hit & run driver.

The elderly gent spent several weeks in hospital, but he said what hurt most and still preys on his mind was the driver's punishment - £1,000 fine and 8 points.

 

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alexb | 7 years ago
1 like

Compare this fine to the constant reports of drivers who kill or injure, then just drive off, or to the typical final roundup you see on Police, Camera, Action!

If this was typical, I'd be fine with it, but throwing the book at cyclists who get caught seems pretty common (Richmond Park speeder for example, kid who killed a pedestrian etc.)

We need a level playing field.

 

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Stumps | 7 years ago
1 like

Magistrates, the bane of my life. No experience and no idea.

"a driver is covered with tattoos and refuses to provide blood (drink driver) as he has a needle phobia - magistrates believe him and he gets off" - no effing idea the lot of them.

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oldmixte | 7 years ago
0 likes

Plods just jealous because they couldn't keep up with him.

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STiG911 replied to oldmixte | 7 years ago
1 like
OldMixte wrote:

Plods just jealous because they couldn't keep up with him.

Should've taken a short cut - Cue image of Danny smashing through a fence in Hot Fuzz...

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themartincox | 7 years ago
3 likes

"People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation."

Whose reputation? 'people', or 'cyclists', 'cos people can be dicks at times!

Maybe we are just not understanding the magistrate?

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Kendalred | 7 years ago
4 likes

I was about to give her the benefit of the doubt - in that she was simply stating that there is prejudice against cyclists, but reading it again, the omission of a word such as 'some' or 'many' would have seperated herself from the comment. Simply saying 'people don't like cyclists' would imply agreement. Presuming she is a person.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to Kendalred | 7 years ago
3 likes
KendalRed wrote:

I was about to give her the benefit of the doubt - in that she was simply stating that there is prejudice against cyclists, but reading it again, the omission of a word such as 'some' or 'many' would have seperated herself from the comment. Simply saying 'people don't like cyclists' would imply agreement. Presuming she is a person.

It also implies cyclists aren't people. Well, or that they are full of self-loathing.

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Jem PT | 7 years ago
1 like

The magistate is correct in that people who ride bikes like this give all cyclists a bad name. The problem seems to me that the bad riders outnumber the good riders at times on my commute!

But to say an unqualified "people don't like cyclsits" is outrageous prejudice! 

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bobbinogs replied to Jem PT | 7 years ago
5 likes
Jem PT wrote:

The magistate is correct in that people who ride bikes like this give all cyclists a bad name...

...and yet does one speeding motorist give all drivers a bad name?  Nope.  Hence, I don't think this banker prat gives other cyclists a bad name.  I think there is a significant number of people who dislike cyclists full stop, and the law (from statute, enforcement and then prosecution) does little to discourage the view that normal cyclists' lives are worth significantly less than any other human life.  

Driver runs over a plain old cyclist?  Fair game and police/the courts won't bother doing anything.

Driver runs over a cycling policeman or a young pedestrian outside a school?  My God!  Attempted murder and no end of resources thrown into the case with a damn good hanging awaiting the offender when up before the bench.

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davenportmb replied to bobbinogs | 7 years ago
1 like
Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet does one speeding motorist give all drivers a bad name?  Nope.

No, but a video of one shoddy taxi drivers has this site's comments sections up in flames with comments like "they're all a bunch of w*nkers!"

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hawkinspeter replied to davenportmb | 7 years ago
2 likes
davenportmb wrote:
Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet does one speeding motorist give all drivers a bad name?  Nope.

No, but a video of one shoddy taxi drivers has this site's comments sections up in flames with comments like "they're all a bunch of w*nkers!"

Fair point, but there's a difference between expressing an opinion and passing judgement/sentencing.

I could see a taxi driver complaining if he had a jury composed just of road.cc commenters. (I personally find that there's a huge variance in the skill/attention level of taxi drivers - some are really good and some are just abysmal).

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to davenportmb | 7 years ago
1 like
davenportmb wrote:
Bobbinogs wrote:

...and yet does one speeding motorist give all drivers a bad name?  Nope.

No, but a video of one shoddy taxi drivers has this site's comments sections up in flames with comments like "they're all a bunch of w*nkers!"

So maybe you should head off to a taxi-driver site and point out that that guy is giving the rest of them a bad name? I'm sure that will improve behaviour and solve all the problems, and stop bike site commenters saying that sort of thing, right?

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mrfree replied to bobbinogs | 7 years ago
1 like
Bobbinogs wrote:
Jem PT wrote:

The magistate is correct in that people who ride bikes like this give all cyclists a bad name...

...and yet does one speeding motorist give all drivers a bad name?  Nope.  Hence, I don't think this banker prat gives other cyclists a bad name.  I think there is a significant number of people who dislike cyclists full stop, and the law (from statute, enforcement and then prosecution) does little to discourage the view that normal cyclists' lives are worth significantly less than any other human life.  

Driver runs over a plain old cyclist?  Fair game and police/the courts won't bother doing anything.

Driver runs over a cycling policeman or a young pedestrian outside a school?  My God!  Attempted murder and no end of resources thrown into the case with a damn good hanging awaiting the offender when up before the bench.

While I do agree with a lot of what you said, there are valid arguments that a bad cyclist does negatively affect the group, as it's a minority group subject to huge stereotypes. The typical car driver either has no problem overtaking a cyclist (rare IMO) or silently grumbles. But when cyclists make dangerous manoeuvrs it gives the aforementioned grumbler the opportunity to lash out..."look! See! They ARE all assh*les!"

Until driver attitudes change, ie. Until the road is understood as shared, it will always be this way.

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Saratoga | 7 years ago
5 likes

This judgement diminishes the really rather low esteem magistrates already have.

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brooksby | 7 years ago
6 likes
Quote:

the charity says it will ask whether she will disqualify herself from future cases involving cyclists.

Having demonstrated a strong bias, you think she would remove herself from any such cases, without having to be forced to?

Also, displaying such a visible bias, does that call into question her whole verdict?

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PaulBox replied to brooksby | 7 years ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

displaying such a visible bias, does that call into question her whole verdict?

Absolutely, I'd say that the cyclist has got a very strong case for appealing this.

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wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
25 likes

Seems in line with a £400 fine for killing a cyclist.

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bobbinogs replied to wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
11 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:

Seems in line with a £400 fine for killing a cyclist.

 

mm, what I was thinking.  The tragedy is that riding on a pavement got this chap a £2k fine and yet one can easily kill a cyclist, state the usually acceptable reasons for the unfortunate oversight (something like "it was a sunny day" or "I was on the way to post an urgent letter" will do nicely) and job's a good 'un.

 

I don't see this particular magistrate as having a case to answer, I see ALL magistrates as having a case to answer.

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davenportmb | 7 years ago
3 likes

Why is the statement "Nobody likes cyclists" in the headline in quotation marks? It is not a quote. The magistrate said "People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation," a fact which - outside of other cyclists - is largely true: ask any other road user what they think of cyclists and you'll most likely get a response with a four-letter word in it. What's the big deal?

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to davenportmb | 7 years ago
6 likes
davenportmb wrote:

Why is the statement "Nobody likes cyclists" in the headline in quotation marks? It is not a quote. The magistrate said "People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation," a fact which - outside of other cyclists - is largely true: ask any other road user what they think of cyclists and you'll most likely get a response with a four-letter word in it. What's the big deal?

I love the way in your comment you equate 'people' with 'drivers' as if they are synonyms.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to davenportmb | 7 years ago
13 likes
davenportmb wrote:

Why is the statement "Nobody likes cyclists" in the headline in quotation marks? It is not a quote. The magistrate said "People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation," a fact which - outside of other cyclists - is largely true: ask any other road user what they think of cyclists and you'll most likely get a response with a four-letter word in it. What's the big deal?

If she'd said 'people do not like Muslims, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation', you'd be fine with that?

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KiwiHelen replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 7 years ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
davenportmb wrote:

Why is the statement "Nobody likes cyclists" in the headline in quotation marks? It is not a quote. The magistrate said "People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation," a fact which - outside of other cyclists - is largely true: ask any other road user what they think of cyclists and you'll most likely get a response with a four-letter word in it. What's the big deal?

If she'd said 'people do not like Muslims, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation', you'd be fine with that?

My thoughts exactly...imagine the outcry?! Perfectly fine to say that to a cyclist, however. Does she want us to all crawl away and catch the tube or take to the road in cars?

Not fit to be making judgments at all, with that attitude.

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STiG911 replied to davenportmb | 7 years ago
3 likes
davenportmb wrote:

Why is the statement "Nobody likes cyclists" in the headline in quotation marks? It is not a quote. The magistrate said "People do not like cyclists, and you are doing nothing to enhance their reputation," a fact which - outside of other cyclists - is largely true: ask any other road user what they think of cyclists and you'll most likely get a response with a four-letter word in it. What's the big deal?

Assuming it was really neccessary for her to open her gob on this at all, it'd've been nice if she'd prefaced it with 'A lot of' or even better 'Some' instead of saying what she did say.

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brooksby replied to STiG911 | 7 years ago
0 likes
STiG911 wrote:

Assuming it was really neccessary for her to open her gob on this at all, it'd've been nice if she'd prefaced it with 'A lot of' or even better 'Some' instead of saying what she did say.

Robert Anton Wilson (I think) coined "sombunall" meaning "some but not all".

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tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
6 likes

Been trying to think of a Strava Club name. Maybe, 'nobody likes cyclists' will do smiley

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STiG911 replied to tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
5 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Been trying to think of a Strava Club name. Maybe, 'nobody likes cyclists' will do smiley

How about 'Nobody likes us'

Or 'Everybody hates us'

 

WAIT! - got another one

 

'...Causing congestion AND pollution'

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STiG911 | 7 years ago
7 likes

Wow. Proof, as if it were needed, that Justice really is blind.

And retarded.

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