Case Study

Driver who hit cyclist John Parkin in Bamford to appear in court (02/05/13)

John Parkin, 42, was killed in collision with a car as he cycled in Bamford in May 2013.

John, who owned and ran the Body Shop car repair business in Rutland Road, had ordered a new Italian high-spec bike after reviving his interest in the sport.

“He had lost a bit of weight and was getting all the benefits,” said Andrew. “But he said he wasn’t going to pick up the new bike until the weather was right.”

He collected it on the warmest day of the year, May 2, and was in collision with a Toyota Starlet in Bamford. He died in the Northern General Hospital.

John, who lived in Westfield, leaves a wife, Karen, and son, James.

Samuel Mason (27.10.94) of Crossings Road, Chapel-en-le-Frith has been summonsed to appear at High Peak Magistrates’ Court on November 13 to face a charge of causing death by driving without due care and attention.

The driver will go on trial on 12th March at Derby Crown Court.

  • UPDATE (10/04/14)

Samuel Mason was sentenced to six months in a young offenders institute after pleading guilty to causing John Parkin’s death by careless driving at Derby Crown Court. He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months and must take an extended driving test when his ban ends.

Mason was driving along the A6013 in Bamford towards the Ladybower Reservoir when he passed a parked delivery van and turned into Brentwood Road where he hit John Parkin travelling in the opposite direction.

Mason, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, said he simply had not seen the cyclist. But witnesses described him as looking impatient and a motorist who was travelling behind him told police she had seen Mr Parkin cycling down the hill.

Judge John Pini QC told Mason: “I do not regard this as a momentary inattention, nearer to reckless risk taking. Mr Parkin was visible for 57 metres from where you were. Your miscalculation cost him his life. In the pre-sentence report there is not one single word of remorse or one expression of sympathy for the family of the deceased.”

A statement from Mr Parkin’s wife said: “John wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend. We were so in love, and there wasn’t a day gone by when we didn’t say it or show it to each other. Our son James had just turned 21 in April and John was so proud of him. I feel so lost without him it feels like I died on May 2. I want the accused to know what they have taken from us. They will never get our forgiveness. They didn’t just take my husband and James’ dad, they took us as well.”

CTC's view: 

This is an incredibly light sentence for driving which was considered by the judge to be on the borderline with reckless or dangerous driving. When the offence of ‘causing death by careless driving’ falls not far short of dangerous driving, judges can impose anything between six months and three years custody.

The order to sit an extended re-test is not mandatory for this offence so it is encouraging that the judge ordered one in this case, but this should have been accompanied by a much longer driving ban.

CTC’s Road Justice campaign is calling for much greater use of re-education, substantial driving bans and other non-custodial sentences to be used when sentencing drivers for similar offences.

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