Putney woman given community service after failing to stop at accident

Wandsworth Guardian: Community service for woman who failed to stop Community service for woman who failed to stop

A Putney driver involved in a fatal collision with a teenage cyclist has been sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work.

Hannah James, 31, of Disraeli Road, Putney, appeared at Woking Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, May 12, to face charges of failing to stop after a road accident and using a vehicle with an unsuitable tyre.

Joel Semmens, 17, was cycling home from Byfleet town centre when he collided with a black Audi TT convertible in Parvis Road, Byfleet.

He was taken to St Peter’s Hospital, in Chertsey, where he later died from his injuries.

James, who admitted all the charges, was ordered to complete the community work in the next 12 months and had her licence endorsed with 10 penalty points.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £87.

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Comments (7)

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11:49am Thu 19 May 11

valsarno says...

No please tell me there's been mistake! It's a hit and run!!! And the boy died and this is outrageous! Please tell me there is a mistake in the reporting or some huge omission that would explain this crazy decision!
No please tell me there's been mistake! It's a hit and run!!! And the boy died and this is outrageous! Please tell me there is a mistake in the reporting or some huge omission that would explain this crazy decision! valsarno

1:22pm Thu 19 May 11

gallusnumpty says...

There is no suggetion that the collision was the car driver's fault, at least not in this or any of the other reports I can find. So the punishment seems not unreasonable.
There is no suggetion that the collision was the car driver's fault, at least not in this or any of the other reports I can find. So the punishment seems not unreasonable. gallusnumpty

5:41pm Thu 19 May 11

CliveA says...

gallusnumpty - It *is* the driver's fault she chose not to stop - the legal and only decent thing to do. This penalty is disgusting. The standard of driving in Surrey and south-west London is abysmal, and awful judgments like this do nothing to help.
gallusnumpty - It *is* the driver's fault she chose not to stop - the legal and only decent thing to do. This penalty is disgusting. The standard of driving in Surrey and south-west London is abysmal, and awful judgments like this do nothing to help. CliveA

6:17pm Thu 19 May 11

gallusnumpty says...

@CliveA The maximum penalty for failing to stop is 10 points on your licence and six months in jail. She got the points, but instead of the six months in jail, the judge opted for 12 months community service.

Exactly how is that an disgusting judgement? What would 6 months in jail have taught her than 12 months community service won't? What less disgusting punishment would you have dished out, given the crime that she was actually found guilty of?
@CliveA The maximum penalty for failing to stop is 10 points on your licence and six months in jail. She got the points, but instead of the six months in jail, the judge opted for 12 months community service. Exactly how is that an disgusting judgement? What would 6 months in jail have taught her than 12 months community service won't? What less disgusting punishment would you have dished out, given the crime that she was actually found guilty of? gallusnumpty

6:20pm Thu 19 May 11

gallusnumpty says...

Correction: community service that she must complete within the next 12 months, not 12 months community service. But my question still stands.
Correction: community service that she must complete within the next 12 months, not 12 months community service. But my question still stands. gallusnumpty

6:35pm Thu 19 May 11

CliveA says...

gallusnumpty - 100 hours' community service is around two and half weeks' work, spread out, as you correctly point out, over a year. Many innocent people give voluntary service far in excess of this.

It appears this driver left someone to die in the road. That is a big deal. But I do agree that prison is not always the best thing.

What punishment would I have given out? A driving ban of at least two years, more community hours and a four-figure fine.
gallusnumpty - 100 hours' community service is around two and half weeks' work, spread out, as you correctly point out, over a year. Many innocent people give voluntary service far in excess of this. It appears this driver left someone to die in the road. That is a big deal. But I do agree that prison is not always the best thing. What punishment would I have given out? A driving ban of at least two years, more community hours and a four-figure fine. CliveA

10:56am Wed 15 Jun 11

dickymoore says...

CliveA, I agree with your outrage. The fact that the driver did not stop is incredibly suspicious. That the driver didn't stop should be taken more into account - she could have been drunk or high on drugs, or concealing something else - it could have been someone else driving the vehicle, someone without a license perhaps. This is all speculation, but the point I'm making is that giving hit and run drivers such a leniant punishment sets a dangerous precedent - it discourages them from stopping to help the potentially fatally injured. Anyone who is drunk and/or high on drugs could just take their chances and leave the injured for dead - or persuade someone else to take the punishment instead.
CliveA, I agree with your outrage. The fact that the driver did not stop is incredibly suspicious. That the driver didn't stop should be taken more into account - she could have been drunk or high on drugs, or concealing something else - it could have been someone else driving the vehicle, someone without a license perhaps. This is all speculation, but the point I'm making is that giving hit and run drivers such a leniant punishment sets a dangerous precedent - it discourages them from stopping to help the potentially fatally injured. Anyone who is drunk and/or high on drugs could just take their chances and leave the injured for dead - or persuade someone else to take the punishment instead. dickymoore

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