The sentencing guidelines for Dangerous Driving include the following:-
- No aggravating circumstances. Immediate custodial sentence will generally be necessary unless there are exceptional circumstances
- Starting point: 12 months – 2 years for adult offenders, even where a guilty plea, although such a plea should justify the appropriate reduction in length.
- Intermediate culpability – momentary dangerous driving/error of judgement/ short period of bad driving. Starting point: 2 – four and a half years.
- Higher culpability -standard of offender’s driving is more highly dangerous (one or two aggravating factors). Starting point: four and a half to seven years.
- Most serious culpability. Starting point: 7 – 14 years.
Mitigating factors include:
- a good driving record;
- the absence of previous convictions;
- a timely plea of guilty;
- genuine shock or remorse (which may be greater if the victim is either a close relation or a friend);
- the offender’s age (but only in cases where lack of driving experience has contributed to the commission of the offence), and
- the fact that the offender has also been seriously injured as a result of the accident caused by the dangerous driving.
- the fact that the offender behaved responsibly, and took positive action to assist at the scene.
Aggravating factors include:-
- the consumption of drugs (including legal medication known to cause drowsiness) or of alcohol, ranging from a couple of drinks to a ‘motorised pub crawl’
- greatly excessive speed; racing; competitive driving against another vehicle; ‘showing off’
- disregard of warnings from fellow passengers
- a prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving
- aggressive driving (such as driving much too close to the vehicle in front, persistent inappropriate attempts to overtake, or cutting in after overtaking)
- driving while the driver’s attention is avoidably distracted, for example by reading or by use of a mobile phone (especially if hand-held)
- driving when knowingly suffering from a medical condition that significantly impairs the offender’s driving skills
- driving when knowingly deprived of adequate sleep or rest
- driving a poorly maintained or dangerously loaded vehicle, especially where this has been motivated by commercial concerns
So studying all these items as the judge must have done, do you think that Lord Ahmed, the killer of Mr. Martyn Gombar, received a just sentence of Twelve Weeks prison time for his actions?