Family of teenager killed by cyclist call for change in law – Daily Telegraph

“The family of a teenager killed by a speeding cyclist have called for a change in the law after he walked free from court with just a ‘laughable’ fine.”

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 9th July 2008


1 Response to “Family of teenager killed by cyclist call for change in law – Daily Telegraph”

  1. 1 David Kessler July 13, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Manslaughter is defined in British law as causing death to a human being by a high degree of negligence or reckless disregard for the other person’s safety. If a cyclist rides his bike at high speed at a person on the pavement whom he has clearly seen (as proven by the fact that he shouted “move because I’m not going to stop”) and then hits that person at high speed and kills that person (as Jason Howard did to Rhiannon Bennett) then that cyclist in question is guilty of manslaughter.

    Last year Peter Messen (28) was sentenced to one year, suspended for two, for killing Gary Green by using a similar murderous cycling technique. But he apparently had the excuse that he had learning difficulties.

    Jason Howard (36) had no such excuse. So why was he only tried for dangerous cycling rather than manslaughter? Clearly it could not have been for lack of conclusive evidence that he committed manslaughter. The evidence left no room for doubt. He saw his innocent 17 year old female victim, (walking on the pavement), he drove straight at her from behind, he accounced his intention not to stop, he hit her and he killed her! These are all well documented facts.

    No one could conclude upon hearing those facts that he did not show both reckless disregard and a high degree of negligence towards the innocent girl whom he killed. No one could conclude that he did not kill her. Cause: an act of reckeless disregard and a high degree of negligence. Consequence: victim’s death. Legal conclusion: Manslaughter.

    So why was he not charged with manslaughter? Could it be because the CPS take a bean-counters approach to such crimes as Jason Howard committed and decided that it was cheaper to prosecute him for Dangerous Cycling rather than the manslaughter that could have been proven conclusively by the evidence?

    In many states of the US Jason Howard’s action would have been murder because it involved causing death by a “depraved disregard” for his victim’s safety. However, even though we have no such provision here and Jason Howard can only be said to be guilty of murder in the moral sense (not the legal sense) we can say that on a basis of the facts and the law that he was guilty of manslaughter – and a pretty egregious case of manslaughter at that!

    Jason Howard showed the attitude that he holds towards the life of a fellow human being. It is now time for us to show that in so doing he set the value of his OWN life – and anyone who meets him should deal with him accordingly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

July 2008
« Jun   Aug »


%d bloggers like this: