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Gloucestershire driver who sped up to get away from police admits killing cyclist

Admits dangerous driving and driving without insurance

A 36-year-old driver from Gloucestershire has admitted killing a cyclist after speeding up to try and get away from police officers who were following him because he had no insurance.

Joseph Marchant was killed on 27 October this year in Bisley Road, Stroud, with his bike dragged under the Saab car driven by Daryl Ackland, reports Gloucestershire Live.

Police arrested Ackland, from Stroud, following a search which also involved dog handlers. Three other people were also arrested but were subsequently released without charge.

Appearing at Gloucester Crown Court via videolink from Hewell Prison near Redditch, Ackland pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Marchant by dangerous driving, and also admitted driving without insurance.

Officers had begun to follow him because they believed he was uninsured, and recorded dashcam footage of his driving, but not the fatal crash itself.

The police collision investigator is still compiling a report on the incident, and Judge Michael Cullum, who has ordered it to be completed by 30 December, said its findings would determine the sentence Ackland would receive.

If the report determines he was travelling at a “greatly excessive” speed, the judge said that the starting point for the sentence would be five years in jail; if below that, the starting point would be three years.

Speaking in defence of Ackland, Claire Buckley said: "His basis of plea is that he accepts he was going in excess of the limit and that was dangerous because the roads were narrow and he should not have been travelling at that speed.

“He does not accept he was travelling at a greatly excessive speed.

"The dashcam evidence will probably assist on whether the speed was greatly excessive."

Ackland has been remanded in custody until at least 9 January.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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perfect1964 | 7 years ago

This link, although based on US law, might shed a light to the outraged on why culpability and sentencing do not necessarily turn on the outcome. The first section is common to criminal law systems in most countries.



bendertherobot | 7 years ago

The Judge is considering whether this is level 2 or 3 in the sentencing guidelines. The most probable outcome here is that it will fall within 2. The entry point to that one is 5 years but the range is actually 4-7. For level 3 the entry point is 3 years and the range 2-5. 

Even if he's sentenced at level 2 he's likely to get around 4 1/2 years once his credit for an early guilty plea is taken into account. 

There's good news today though that the Government is looking to push the maximum sentence (level 1) up to life imprisonment. That will let level 2 and 3 have some breathing room to create higher sentences in relation to those. It may also have the effect of increasing sentences for careless driving as well. Time will tell.

Housecathst | 7 years ago

@handlebarcam wow brilliantly put!! 

Russell Orgazoid replied to Housecathst | 7 years ago

Housecathst wrote:

@handlebarcam wow brilliantly put!! 

I second that. Bravo.

handlebarcam | 7 years ago

Utterly ludicrous, as per usual. A man speeding away from the police killed another man, and whether he gets a lenient sentence or a very lenient sentence depends on whether his speed was "greatly" excessive. Who cares, it was excessive, and it led to an innocent bystander's death. That happened because he considered the lives of those around him to be worthless, and there is no gradation in such disrespect. The trouble is that the law has never been about discouraging or punishing contempt for fellow human beings. How could it be? If it were, half the population would be in prison, or at least there'd be no room for the people who do what the authorities really care about: taking property from those who hold it. Because if everyone who selfishly wants something just went out and stole it, instead of working to pay for it, society would collapse. But if everyone who drives selfishly just disregards the safety of others, well, we know what happens, because they already do. And thousands of people die every year because of it, but society remains intact.

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