Sentencing

Here’s some dashcam footage taken in Southall last year. It’s a shocking incident – so shocking that there were rumours going around on the internet last year that it was faked in an elaborate publicity stunt. It is real.

The footage featured at the start of the recent Channel 5 show, The World’s Scariest Drivers. In that programme the narrator claimed that the driver, Rubia Hamid, was given a ‘lifetime driving ban’.

This is incorrect. She was only banned for three years. A short excerpt from the Times (£) story about this incident -

Mrs Hamid was found guilty at Isleworth Crown Court last month. She was sentenced to 12 months of prison suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay Mr Sharma, who is still recovering from his injuries, £500 in damages. She will also be banned from driving for 3 years and will have to take an extended driving test before she is allowed back on the road.

My opinion is that this is a derisory sentence for an act which could quite easily have killed an elderly man, in addition to which Mrs Hamid left the scene and further denied all knowledge of any incident taking place. Her punishment – a £500 fine, 200 hours of community service, and a short ban – does not reflect the severity of her crime.

British Cycling are currently running a campaign, with the support of a host of other organisations, calling for an urgent review of the way drivers who kill or injure cyclists and other road users are sentenced. It’s well worth supporting.

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This entry was posted in Dangerous driving, Driving ban, Sentencing, The judiciary. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Sentencing

  1. I fail to understand why anyone like that would ever be allowed to drive again.

  2. monchberter says:

    Even without the shocking accident, the whole 6 minutes of inconsiderate selfish driving should have been enough to ban her for life. Disgusting.

  3. Unbelievable. How is she not in prison?
    Typical failure by the CPS and courts.

  4. livinginabox says:

    This sentence must surely be evidence in itself why the Law is held in contempt. The legal system and those involved in such cases must surely be held responsible for bringing the Law into disrepute. If there were any justice this person would be banned for life, receive a custodial sentence and receive a substantial fine. It would be an excellent idea for the vehicle to be crushed too.
    The CPS has a part to play too, especially in those cases where they deem that it is not in the Public interest to prosecute, even though the standard of driving has been atrocious.

  5. I remember seeing that clip when it was partly-viral the first time so I don’t wish to watch it again. As the others have said I’d have hoped she was banned for life and given an hefty custodial sentence but yet again our “justice” system has failed to deal with a clearly selfish and dangerous driver.

  6. Andrew says:

    Thing is, apart from knocking down the man, I see most of what she did with some frequency. It should be a shocking clip, but it’s not particularly. I work on the assumption that everyone drives like this until I see otherwise. Of course the vast majority don’t, but it keeps me safe from the 1 or 2 each week who do.

    (And this, of course, leads onto sentencing. Bad driving is largely normalised, it’s understandable and excusable — after all, that could have been me (the magistrate, the judge, the educated professional) at the wheel. So, although tragic, no one should really be culpable for this “accident”.)

  7. livinginabox says:

    Slightly off-topic, but not much!
    Former Norwich City footballer uses ‘exceptional hardship’ as defence against speeding charges
    ‘The 28-year-old released by the club at the end of the 2011/12 season pleaded “exceptional hardship” when he appeared before Norwich magistrates yesterday.

    He admitted two speeding offences and was handed eight more points to the nine already on the licence which took the total to 17 – five more than the number that normally leads to a ban…. ‘
    http://is.gd/5uN9Sf

    Seems that is exactly the sort of sentence that leads to a cavalier attitude to Road Traffic Law. If we want safer roads, the simple answer is to ban these people. I have been driving for well over three decades and have never had even a single penalty point. It’s not difficult.

  8. Whoever sentenced her is incompetent. Where is the accountability in the system when courts make outrageous decisions? Why didn’t the prosecution appeal against the severity of the sentence?
    Perhaps there should be some way by which public opinion could be harnessed to force an appeal against obviously wrong sentences like this.

    Besides, what exactly is this woman going to be doing as ‘community service’?

  9. Is this _really_ real? I can’t find anything on the interweb except forum posts and blog entries discussing it, and don’t want to pay to see the original (and apparently _only_ ) news article about it on Times Online.

    • The Times’ journalist is pretty sure of his facts – I suppose the only way to find out for certain is to ring Isleworth Magistrates Court for yourself. But I think it’s in the realm of conspiracy theory.

  10. livinginabox says:

    Here’s the Youtube video. You should be able to contact the guy who made the video.
    From the video, the incident took place in Southall on 19th Jan 2011 at 10.00 am, the driver was caught in Heston.

  11. Lewis says:

    Probably only ‘news’ as his dad was on reality TV. The history towards the end on the article is astonishing. I hope for some severe sentencing, such as a long ban, but I doubt it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-18414314

    • livinginabox says:

      Regarding the http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-18414314 story.

      ‘…Mr Loveridge died in the two-vehicle accident on the westbound carriageway of the A55 at Abergwyngregyn, near Talybont, between 03:30 and 04:00 GMT on 18 March.

      He was a front seat passenger in a Mitsubishi Shogun driven by Doherty which veered into a lay-by close to a junction and struck a parked Renault van.

      Beyond drifting into the lay-by, Mr Green said there were no other factors in the fatal crash such as excessive speed or alcohol which could be put forward….’

      It sound very much like that in the absence of other factors, at ‘between 03:30 and 04:00 GMT’, the most likely explanation was that the driver fell asleep.

      Mind-you this person has ‘previous’ and is a serial offender. Why he’s been treated so leniently, is beyond me. The way the Law is administered has brought the Law itself into disrepute.

  12. Paul M says:

    Am I alone in feeling somewhat ambivalent about this story? There is no question that the driver of the red hatchback, reportedly a Mrs Rabia Salim, was driving dangerously with the result that she knocked down a pedestrian, on the wrong side of a pedestrian refuge. Also no question that she fled the scene of an accident involving potential injury, which is another specific criminal offence. I would also personally agree that her sentencing for that was too light, although we have no information about the facts the magistrates weighed up in reaching their sentencing decision – if she is indeed the mother of three children, any magistrate has to consider that. You can’t just say “well, she should have thought about that” – yes, she should, but her children shouldn’t be punished for their mother’s crime. I would have said scrub the prison sentence and lengthen the ban, increase the fine – and impound the car, although i suspect the power to do that doesn’t currently exist.

    BUT what about the car following, with the dashcam? Certainly the evidence to nail her would not have been available without the camera footage, but that footage also indicates quite clearly that the driver was speeding to keep up and catch up, and that he also overtook a line of stationary cars to turn right at one point. In a way I am suprised that the woman didn’t defend herself in court (perhaps she did) by saying that she was in fear for her safety – wouldn’t you be, if you saw a car which is manifestly not a police car, occupied by at least two men,following you at speed?

    Vigilantism is an ugly thing. We shouldn’t condone it just because on this particular occasion it presses our own pro-cycling, road safety buttons.

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