After a judge handed David McSkimming a six month suspended sentence for hitting and killing Anthony Satterthwaite while speeding, Mr Satterthwaite's wife has now spoke of her fury at the leniency of the sentence.
As we reported on Saturday, McSkimming was driving his Porsche Boxter at 59mph in a 40mph zone when he hit the 51-year-old on the opposite side of the road after “rebounding” off a tree. The incident happened on Eastcote Lane, Solihull on 22nd December 2018, and McSkimming was sentenced on 4th September 2020 at Birmingham Crown Court. He was given a suspended six-month prison sentence and 250 hours community service after admitting causing death by careless driving.
Wendy Satherwaite commented: “The family had very justifiable expectations of a fair and honest sentencing decision in respect of a much loved and irreplaceable member of our family who was killed on 22 December, 2018.
"This did not happen. The judge handed out a totally inadequate sentence - six months, suspended for two years and 250 hours community service to a driver who killed a totally innocent cyclist in a most violent and cruel way.
“Anthony suffered horrendous injuries. All of this was deemed less important than the psychological effects on the Defendant’s son and his career. This decision has left the family totally traumatised and is one we cannot come to terms with.
“The sentence in our case was far too lenient and has left us feeling it was an insult to Anthony and all he had achieved in life and has totally destroyed our faith in the justice system. What kind of message does this paltry sentence send to others about death on the road? A flawed justice system has allowed McSkimming to walk free.”
She also added: "We feel that the justice system has failed Anthony and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
“The sentence that was passed was wholly and morally wrong and the sad fact is, Anthony’s passing will be just another statistic of death on the road.
“The guidelines seem so inflexible for the victims. We had to read edited versions of our original Victim Personal Impact Statements with little justification.”
A spokesperson for Leigh Day Solicitors, who represented Mrs Satterthwaite and specialise in serious injuries caused to cyclists by motorists, said: “Our hearts truly go out to the family of Anthony Satterthwaite who lost his life whilst cycling.
“The family are understandably angered that our criminal justice system allows for such patently unjust sentencing where road traffic offences occur, particularly in cases like this where it is apparent to most people that the offence was so much more than any momentary lapse in concentration.
“Sadly, we see this all too often and it not hard to understand why families often feel that the justice system only compounds the devastation of losing a loved one, instead of offering some sort of comfort by handing down a punishment that at least attempts to reflect the seriousness of the offence. A serious re-consideration as to how such cases are prosecuted by the courts is long overdue.”
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.