Case Study

Driver who broke speed limit and crashed into cyclist avoids prosecution

Incident date: 
Sun, 21 Oct 2012

A driver who drove at 40mph in a 30 mph zone has avoided criminal action despite being involved in the death of 23-year-old cyclist Brent Jelley in Sible Hedingham, Essex in October 2012.

An inquest into Mr Jelley’s death heard from Sgt Richard Baker, a specialist collision investigator for Essex Police, who said: “Despite it being dark, the cycle was not fitted with lights, reflectors were also missing and Brent was dressed in dark clothing.

“Joshua was travelling at 40mph and only saw him when he was illuminated by his headlamps. Despite heavy braking, he was unable to avoid a collision. Had he been driving at 30mph, the collision might have been avoided.”

Toxicology reports revealed Mr Jelley had a mixture of alcohol and drugs, including cannabis and ecstasy.

Senior investigating officer Sgt Catherine Offord said “The Crown Prosecution Service deliberated at length over this case and I know Brent’s family have found its decision difficult to accept.”

CTC's view: 

If ever there was a case that demonstrated the need for the CPS to be more transparent about their decision making processes, this is it. We would expect the victim’s culpability to have an impact on sentencing but not on the CPS’s decision whether to prosecute the driver or not, hence the decision not to prosecute needs to be explained.

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