Thursday, 23 January 2020

Yes, It's A Balance...

...but it'd be nice if a vindictive State didn't have its thumb on the scales, wouldn't it?
A woman carer accused of killing a policeman and a grandmother in an horrific crash, walked free from court today after a jury cleared her of all charges.
And what did she do? Lead police on a 100mph chase? Mount the pavement and mow them down?

Neither. She simply turned right against traffic to enter another road, something hundreds of thousands of motorists do every day. As the jury must have been thinking.
Motorist Agne Jasulaitiene had been on trial for a week, accused of killing TV's Road Wars police hero James 'Dixie' Dixon and her friend, 91-year-old Gladys Goodwin, for whom she was caring.
However, a jury took less than an hour to decide that she was not guilty of the two charges of causing death by careless driving.
One has to wonder why on earth she was charged at all. But the key is in the term ''TV's Road Wars police hero'. Surely he couldn't have been at fault?
The jury heard that on December 5 2017, on her day off, Miss Jasulaitiene was driving Gladys home from a lunch in Slough, Berkshire, as part of a companion service and attempting to turn right from the A4 Bath Road into Blake's Lane, in Wargrave, Berkshire at just 13mph.
Father-to-be Pc Dixon, aged 39 years, was killed instantly when his police motorbike - which may have been travelling at twice the 50mph speed limit - hit the Toyota Aygo, overturning it.
Throughout the trial at Reading Crown Court, mother-of-two Agne Jasulaitiene strenuously denied ever seeing the motorcyclist who was on a training exercise with Thames Valley Police and agents from HMRC on the day of the accident.The jury heard the police officers were practising 'offensive surveillance' and were told by expert Anthony Hopkins that the 'covert' motorcycle had purposefully switched off its automatic lights.
Makes the decision to prosecute her even odder, doesn't it?
Prosecutor Ellie Fargin had argued if PC Dixon "had been driving carelessly", it did not "absolve the responsibility of the defendant". But the jury disagreed.
Perhaps they put themselves in her position, innocently driving along when they suddenly become an unwitting part of a lethal 'training exercise'. And they, or their family member, winds up dead.

I wonder if the judge, in his summing up, was wondering the same?
Judge Paul Dugdale thanked the jury for their service, adding: 'You have come into this room without any idea what case you are going to try. Suddenly a very emotional case was place upon your shoulders to try, that is the big burden.
'These cases never bring any closure to the family. The reality is sometimes in life accidents happen. We cannot have a fully trained police force when we you need it, without training. The two cannot sit side-by-side and inevitably there is a degree of risk.
'An officer was tragically killed along with a member of the public when the police were carrying out there (sic) duties. Nobody should lose sight of that. Sometimes we are so keen to find blame, sometimes accidents just happen, it is best to look at it that way.'
The police and CPS are unrepentant. As we have come to expect.
Following the jury's acquittal of the woman accused of killing Pc Dixon, his Assistant Chief Constable, Tim De Meyer said: 'During the trial we heard more detail about the incident in Wargrave in December 2017. The experts in the trial could not be sure of the exact speed at which Pc Dixon was travelling. Furthermore, we cannot speculate on Pc Dixon's reason for travelling at a particular speed.'
We can. We must.

And we should ensure that never again will the vindictive State agents be allowed to pursue an innocent victim through the courts to try to salve their consciences, or the reputation of their 'advanced drivers'. 

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chop chop Melvin. The floor is yours.
Jaded

MTG said...

Gosh. One can only wildly speculate on the resultant proceedings had a brace of Plod been turning right into the path of a speeding motorcycle.

The resident 'plod incident' experts must shirley know?

DJ said...

I think a change of slogan is due: Speed Kills, Unless It's Us Speeding In Which Case It's All Your Fault.

It's the perfect microcosm of what's gone wrong with the police. They've mutated from Peel's 'citizens in uniform' to a bunch of wannabe Samurais. Hence why they drive down the road at Warp Nine with the lights off in December and blame any peasant unfortunate enough to get in their way.

Think of the orange elephants in Blackadder II.

Ted Treen said...

Whilst I cannot but speculate on the actions of the police since I am not in possession of all the facts, I can say, with reasonable certainty, that it has been a very long time since the CPS was 'fit for purpose'.

I can only assume that it is yet another body which is now controlled by Common Purpose and therefore follows their agenda, and not the one it is supposed to.

Dr Evil said...

He must have been going very fast for a motorcycle to knock a car over in such a collision.

MTG said...

Ideas are being bounced off police intelligentsia for improving the tarnished image of UK Filth. A mission to present pigs as an ethical and corruption-free public service, is currently underway. Someone proposed spatula-applied, flourescent lipstick and a uniform which includes a wire halo floating over a blonde, curly wig.

Oh joy of joys...three hurrahs for WC Jaded.

Nemisis said...

Not that different from where Tony Carroll was presumed, by the Coroner's jury, to have been at fault when he was killed.
Both police vehicles were at about twice the limit with no greet concern for the surroundings.

John Tee said...

Odd things: In most RTAs accident investigators seem to be able to make confident estimates of the speed of the vehicles involved. But not in this case?

A lot of motorcyclists carry the two wheeled equivalent of a dashcam, and it would surprise me greatly if police motorcyclists did not carry them as a matter of course. The police are usually quite happy to estimate a vehicle's speed based on dashcam footage. But not in this case?

Anonymous said...

Plod cover-up for a dead hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Dr Evil, Spot on, and of course the speed at impact is less than that at which the bike was travelling by the amount of braking.He did brake, didn't he?

Unknown said...

John Tee, Perhaps he switched it off. Looks more like suicide the more I think about it. Perhaps we need to be told about Plod's private life.

Longrider said...

Even when on blues and twos, the emergency services are not immune from the road traffic act. They get away with jumping lights and so on as a courtesy of other road users. It does not, however, absolve them if they screw up. In this instance, blues and twos were not in operation.

As a riding instructor, I coach students in being as visible to other road users as possible. We cannot override our automatic day time lights even if we wanted to. Also, speed and position in the road are considerations - especially when approaching junctions. Someone attempting to turn right across our path is a red flag - so be prepared to lose speed as the driver either may not see us or may misjudge our speed and distance.

In this instance, the rider was riding significantly more quickly than the driver would have reasonable expected, without blues and twos and without day running lights. Modern machines are generally fairly quiet and their speed can be difficult for people to assess when looked at straight on. I find this when observing Module 1 exercises. I invariably underestimate the speed of the student during the manoeuvre, which is why I use a speed gun.

That said, there is a however... When turning right across traffic, the driver should be paying attention to oncoming traffic and motorcycles are narrow and potentially difficult to assess, so there is an element of fault here, but the major fault lies with the rider in this instance. Hence the jury's decision.

Should it have come to court? On the face of it, yes. Death was caused by this manoeuvre. The jury having assessed the evidence found accordingly, so I see no problem here.

Anonymous said...

Longrider,

DeathS were caused by the motorcyclist in this instance. Fuck me, can't one turn right any more? And isn't there a point in a turn when you start looking where you are going, not off to the side where a suicidal maniac driving at twice the speed limit and not braking is hammering down the road? Couldn't Dixon have swerved?

There looks to be a straight of about 500 yards, which at 100 the bike would have cleared in 10 seconds or so. At 50, it would have taken maybe 20 seconds. That turn would have taken maybe 5 at most.

Longrider said...

Well done for ignoring pretty much everything I said. Also well done for missing the point I was making and well done for the massive strawman.

MTG said...

Longrider...never pop more than one Dixon pill at a time.

Anonymous said...

Summary

Male plod showing off to female with his Taser weapon.

Bites off more than he can chew.

Female plod stops laughing and shits her pants.

JuliaM said...

"I think a change of slogan is due: Speed Kills, Unless It's Us Speeding In Which Case It's All Your Fault."

/applause

"He must have been going very fast for a motorcycle to knock a car over in such a collision."

The Aygo is small and light. But still, to flip it three times...!

"Not that different from where Tony Carroll was presumed, by the Coroner's jury, to have been at fault when he was killed."

Indeed! It's almost as if the myth of 'highly trained drivers' must be maintained at all cost, isn't it?

JuliaM said...

"A lot of motorcyclists carry the two wheeled equivalent of a dashcam, and it would surprise me greatly if police motorcyclists did not carry them as a matter of course. "

Maybe, like the lights, they can be turned off when it might be inconvenient to record things?

"...and of course the speed at impact is less than that at which the bike was travelling by the amount of braking.He did brake, didn't he?"

At that speed, would he have had time?

"Should it have come to court? On the face of it, yes."

Given the CPS reluctance to take forward other cases, I find the decision to take this one forward rather strange. It must have been obvious to them that a jury was unlikely to convict, surely?

Longrider said...

Given the CPS reluctance to take forward other cases, I find the decision to take this one forward rather strange. It must have been obvious to them that a jury was unlikely to convict, surely?

I share your disdain for the CPS. It is unfit for purpose. Who knows what was going through their tiny minds. However, my take is slightly different. If it hadn't gone to court, we would have had years - decades maybe - of the family calling for justice and even possibly a private prosecution. Meanwhile the driver involved would be going through hell on earth. This way it's put to bed.

Anonymous said...

Same with military helicopters: crew flies into a mountain in poor weather, pilot crashes into pub. It's the helicopter's fault.