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Driver who told cyclist “I’m going to kill you” before ramming him with car jailed

Judge told Bradley Harris he had carried out an “appalling piece of deliberate dangerous driving” when he knocked Michael Edge off his bike

A driver ​who told a cyclist “I’m going to kill you” before ramming him with his car has been jailed for 10 months after being found guilty of dangerous driving.

Bradley Harris of Northop, Flintshire, was also banned from driving for 20 months and will have to pass an extended retest to regain his licence, reports the Daily Post.

Mold Crown Court heard that Harris, aged 27, was driving his Audi A3 on Northop High Street at around 8am on 21 April last year, with cyclist Michael Edge riding in the opposite direction.

Phil Clemo, prosecuting, said that Mr Edge thought that Harris, who was driving an Audi A3, would slow down so they could get past each other, but when he didn’t, the cyclist moved into a layby to enable the driver to pass him.

According to Mr Clemo, Harris “felt deeply affronted” at the cyclist moving to one side.

CCTV images showed the driver reversing down the High Street “at speed” then making a three-point turn and driving after Mr Edge.

Harris then shouted at the cyclist: “I'm going to knock you off. I'm going to kill you,” then deliberately swerved at him, with the cyclist sustaining injured ankles among other injuries.

When interviewed by police, however, Harris tried to claim that it was the cyclist who had instigated the confrontation, and denied that he had caused his injuries, insisting the exchange had been purely verbal.

In mitigation, Robin Boag said that Harris had experienced “a few moments’ loss of control” due to stress and that he took that out on the cyclist.

He added that his client was well aware of the potential effects of dangerous driving, having lost his father in a road traffic collision when he was a child.

Judge Niclas Parry, however, described what Harris had done as an “appalling piece of deliberate dangerous driving” in which he used his vehicle “as a weapon,” adding that the only appropriate punishment was imprisonment.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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37 comments

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
7 likes

All in all, I don't see how the driver can be construed as having the temprament to be a driver at all. Maybe a permanent ban would be more appropriate.

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nosferatu1001 replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
7 likes

Weirdly that never seems to be a consideration on the sentencing guidelines.  It should START with - you don't get your licence back - and work back from there. 

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
0 likes

<edit IanM beat me to it>

 

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iandusud | 1 year ago
13 likes

Motorist threatens to kill cyclist, then deliberately drives into him. How is this not attempted murder? Either way a 20 month ban is a sick joke. Ought to be a life ban but in the real world at least 10 years to give the psycho enough time to get some help and hopefully get better. 

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IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
8 likes

No cyclist involved, just a pedestrian who the perpetrator took a dislike to for “walking on the wrong side of the road”.

Other highlights include 'Noting that one of Gill’s fingers was cut off to “enforce” a drug debt nine months before Robinson’s death, the judge added: “Even that did not stop you from drinking and taking drugs.”'

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jul/22/drunk-driver-jailed-kill...

 

But cyclists, they are the menace.

 

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Secret_squirrel replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
2 likes

10 years 9 months......

To me that suggests that even when drunk drivers are charged with Manslaughter its not taken seriously.....

"Gill admitted manslaughter, four counts of assaulting an emergency worker, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, drink-driving, criminal damage, two shoplifting offences and making off without payment."

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sapperadam replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
0 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

10 years 9 months......

To me that suggests that even when drunk drivers are charged with Manslaughter its not taken seriously.....

To be fair, 10y9m is consistent with manslaughter considering the maximum sentence is 14 years. I believe, without checking that the starting point is something like 7 or 10 years anyway. Pleading guilty gets you mitigation and reduces the sentence and aggravating factors increase it. I would say that the sentence has been reduced for the guilty plea and increased for the aggravated offence, hence the higher than base sentence. I'm actually quite pleased to see a charge of Manslaughter here rather than simply Death by Dangerous Driving. You can almost guarantee his sentence would have been at least half what it is had it been DbDD despite that attracting the same maximum sentence as Manslaughter.

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TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
13 likes

So lets see if I understand this.

As a motorist I could make threats to kill a person, then actively drive with intent to injure/kill them.  And you get 10 months in jail because you've had a stressful time of late?

Threaten to kill someone - and smash up their car - you get 6 months in jail.

https://www.northantslive.news/news/northamptonshire-news/car-smashed-up-baseball-bat-5942089

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EK Spinner replied to TriTaxMan | 1 year ago
12 likes

aahh BUT, the criminal used a (push) bike to get there, so it was all part of a planned conspiracy by the anto car cycling lobby.

Joking aside these 2 cases show just how farcical the legal system is in the UK

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hawkinspeter replied to EK Spinner | 1 year ago
9 likes
EK Spinner wrote:

aahh BUT, the criminal used a (push) bike to get there, so it was all part of a planned conspiracy by the anto car cycling lobby.

Joking aside these 2 cases show just how farcical the legal system is in the UK

I think you'll find that the legal system is working as designed - protect and serve those with money and/or power.

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Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
7 likes

This utter cnut should've been tested on the psychopathy spectrum.

When he gets out (in his late twenties!), someone is "going to learn about loss".

Let's hope he gets assessed (and processed) in soap rope alley.

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eburtthebike | 1 year ago
25 likes

This case has so many puzzling features that I'm baffled.  How could someone who has lost a parent to an RTC behave like that?  How can someone who not only threatened to run over and kill someone and then attempted to do so not be charged with attempted murder or assault with a deadly weapon or whatever the law defines it as?

And finally having threatened to kill someone and then attempted it, why did he only get ten months?  Surely ten years would be more appropriate?

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BalladOfStruth replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
23 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

How can someone who not only threatened to run over and kill someone and then attempted to do so not be charged with attempted murder or assault with a deadly weapon or whatever the law defines it as?

This stood out to me as well.

Surely, if someone shouting "I'm going to kill you" at another person, before attacking that person with a deadly weapon somehow isn't a slam-dunk attempted murder conviction, then something is desperately wrong with our legal system.

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Sriracha replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
13 likes

When someone deliberately drives a vehicle at crowds of people, with an avowed intention to kill, are they charged with motoring offences? How is it different if the target is an individual?

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Hirsute replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
9 likes
Inspector Kevin Smith SYP wrote:

Intent is a very difficult thing to prove.  Remember the burden of proof is on the prosecution. 

it is why attempt murder is the single hardest charge to prove on the statute, much harder than actual murder... for murder you only need to prove they intended or foresaw their actions would lead to serious harm, for attempt murder you need to show beyond all reasonable doubt that the intent was to kill.  That's why anyone who says "that should be charged as attempt murder" generally doesn't know what they're talking about in criminal justice terms.  

Driving offences don't require intent or any mens rea, just that the standard of driving is FAR below that expected of a careful and competent driver. Check out the CPS charging standards for more. 

I'm going to refer again to this timely link:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/27/british-soldier-who-mowe...

Driving at speed at a group of pedestrians might seem like a clear attempt murder, but note that it's charged here as a S18. 
 

Also the comments about the car being seen as less of a weapon - I've seen offences where a suspect has stabbed someone multiple times in the torso which were charged as S18 and not attempt murder. It's not as easy as they make it look at the telly.  It's nice to make comparisons but sometimes they're not realistic.  You might also want to take a look at your local newspaper to see how low the sentences generally are for common assault and ABH  

Ps as well as being a neighbourhood inspector I'm also a Detective Inspector so I do know a bit about this stuff. But I've hung up the winkle pickers and all about road safety and burglary now. 

If Inspector Kevin says it, then that's good enough for me.

 

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Sriracha replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
9 likes
Quote:

for attempt murder you need to show beyond all reasonable doubt that the intent was to kill

You mean the perpetrator would have had to have declared, "I'm going to kill you" immediately before making a credible attempt?

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Hirsute replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
2 likes

I suggest you direct that to inspector Kevin, although since it is such a facile statement not really worth it.

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Sriracha replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
3 likes
hirsute wrote:

I suggest you direct that to inspector Kevin, although since it is such a facile statement not really worth it.

You've lost me with the facile bit.

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mdavidford | 1 year ago
4 likes

What kind of car was it?

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
6 likes

Was the cyclist wearing a helmet though?

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Barraob1 replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
3 likes

Was the cyclist wearing dark clothes?

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EK Spinner | 1 year ago
13 likes

so once again we have deliberate use of a vehicle as a weapon in an attempt to kill and in less than 2 years he will be given a licence for the the same weapon

 

beggars belief

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OnYerBike | 1 year ago
24 likes

Am I reading this right? The driver (Harris) was enraged because the cyclist (Edge) "moved into a layby to enable the driver to pass him"?

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matt_cycles replied to OnYerBike | 1 year ago
10 likes

And he also lost his father to a RTC as a child, yet still found it acceptable to behave this way!

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hawkinspeter replied to matt_cycles | 1 year ago
11 likes
matt_cycles wrote:

And he also lost his father to a RTC as a child, yet still found it acceptable to behave this way!

I just don't see how that can be construed as a mitigation by the court. To me it sounds like he knows how deadly drivers can be and so he must surely have intended to kill the cyclist.

Why do we need to let these people back onto the roads at all? A re-test is insufficient as it's not about his driving skill, but his emotional temperament. How can the public be sure that he won't have another 'few moments loss of control' whilst in charge of 2 tonnes of speeding metal?

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BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
22 likes

Having read this and the accompanying article, I feel like I’m missing something. He felt so affronted by a cyclist getting out of his way that he felt attempted murder was the only option? What?!

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Daveyraveygravey replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
7 likes

Either this has been written up incorrectly...or the driver really is a pyscho...

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Dnnnnnn replied to Daveyraveygravey | 1 year ago
10 likes

Whichever way it has been written up, the driver really is a pyscho.

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nosferatu1001 replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
10 likes

I didn't understand that reasoning either - maybe he somehow felt reduced because the cyclist chose to stop? 
 

 

i don't understand why only a 20month driving ban. 

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BalladOfStruth replied to nosferatu1001 | 1 year ago
13 likes

I can only assume the cyclist gestured/said something (which is not unreasonable when confronded with bad driving) and it set the guy off. I've had a guy jump out of his car before now, fists swinging, when I had the audacity to shake my head after he cut me up on a roundabout. There are some utter knobs out there.

It's just that the article says that it was the cyclist moving over that caused the offence. I'm sure there's more to this.

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