Thursday 27 May 2010

British justice: two cases

Contrast and compare these two cases for the attitudes of judges and of the mass media. Causing distress to a motorist is treated very, very seriously. Killing a vulnerable road user by dangerous driving is treated as of very little consequence.

A crook who committed no violence but who fraudulently impounded cars for non-existent parking offences, causing their owners ‘distress and inconvenience’, is sent down for two years. The adjective ‘ruthless’ is applied. This is treated as a major national news story, carried by the Independent, the Mail, the Sun, BBC national News, BBC local news, and two Birmingham local papers.

A lorry driver who ran down and killed an elderly pedestrian and is convicted of dangerous driving, breezes out of court a free man and will be back on the roads in twelve months. The story is carried by one small local newspaper.


An unlicensed wheel-clamping firm boss who fleeced dozens of innocent motorists was jailed for two years today after his "business" was condemned as a ruthless scam.

The clamping business had operated legitimately when it was set up in 2005. But the judge added that operation then became a "con" in which motorists parked legitimately saw their vehicles clamped and towed away before being held to ransom for up to £445.

The judge told Baker: "You were not in fact licensed for this activity, as it is accepted you should have been.

"It's plain by this fraud that in effect you illegally impounded people's cars, not just
causing them distress and inconvenience, but naturally feelings of real loss and panic.


A LORRY driver who struck down an 88-year-old woman who then died has been given community service.

Delivery driver Krystian Filip Zelazny, 35, of Hawkshead, Northamptonshire. struck Ada Hepplewhite as she was crossing Church Street in Enfield Town last July. She was taken to the Royal London Hospital but died on Sunday July 19 from her multiple injuries.

Zelazny has been given 250 hours community service, disqualified from driving for 12 months and had his license endorsed.

He pleaded guilty to
causing death by dangerous driving.