David Grogan guilty of causing death by careless driving of cyclist Christopher 'Tim' Andrew (14/10/10)
Although he admitted seeing the cyclist in front of him, in testimony to Hull Crown Court he admitted hitting Tim Andrew because he claimed he did not have time to react and a minibus was coming in the opposite direction.
Despite lights and a high visibility jacket Grogan still claimed that he ‘didn’t see him’. It was determined in court that visibility from the cab was poor, with the windscreen ‘smudged’.
Mr Andrew’s brother told the Hull Daily Mail that in his opinion ‘justice had been done’.
- UPDATE 19 June
David Grogan has been sentenced to a suspended sentence, 300 hours community punishment, an 18 month driving ban and 8 penalty points.
The judge seems to have suggested that although this was a serious case he felt that Mr Andrew’s light was ‘dim’ and therefore this partially excuses the other failures.
Although this case has resulted in a conviction for ‘causing death by careless driving’, CTC believes a more serious charge of ‘dangerous’ should have been brought. From the evidence uncovered the driver of a heavy goods vehicle was proceeding in bad weather despite having poor visibility out of his cab. Is this not an act that falls well below the standard of a careful and competent driver?
The sentence passed is extremely weak – even though the judge suggests (see Hull Daily Mail article) that it is a serious case of ‘careless’ driving, he has still failed to follow the sentencing guidelines, which suggests a short custodial sentence for such cases. The suggestion that his light was ‘dim’ is outrageous – at least he was following the law, which is more than can be said for the speeding lorry driver.