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Motorist who nearly hit cyclist then claimed he wasn’t driving jailed thanks to rider’s video

The person Kyle Walsh claimed was at wheel turned out to have been on remand in prison at the time

A motorist who nearly hit a cyclist then claimed to police that he had not been driving the vehicle has been jailed thanks to video footage taken by the rider.

Police discovered that the person Kyle Walsh said was behind the wheel during the incident in Sunderland on 19 April 2019 could not possibly have been driving it at the time – because he was on remand in prison at the time.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the cyclist was riding on Suffolk Street in the Hendon area of the city when a VW Passat went past him at high speed on the wrong side of the road.

When he reviewed the rear-facing camera footage afterwards, he saw the vehicle weaving in and out of traffic, with the driver almost causing a crash.

He submitted the footage to Northumbria Police, who have posted it to Facebook here, and who identified Walsh as being one of the named drivers on the policy under which the vehicle was insured.

They sent the 33-year-old a fixed penalty notice, but he returned it claiming that an associate of his had been driving – despite that individual being on remand when the incident happened.

Reviewing the footage, police identified Walsh as being the person at the wheel, and interviewed him under caution.

On Monday, he was jailed for six months at Newcastle Crown Court after being convicted of dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice. He was also banned from driving for 12 months, beginning with the date he is released from prison.

Chief Inspector Mick Hall from Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department said the case highlighted the importance of submitting dashcam and other video evidence to the police.

“This footage speaks for itself,” he said. “The driving on display was appalling and it is by luck, not judgement, that nobody was injured.

“Walsh was travelling at high speeds and into oncoming traffic on what was a minor road in an area where there is a high number of pedestrians.

“But when he was reported for his offences, he refused to take responsibility and tried to squirm his way out of a criminal prosecution.

“Ultimately his lies have seen him put behind bars and that would not have been possible without the cyclist in this case submitting his head-cam footage.

“His vigilance has taken a dangerous driver off the roads and, if that driver had not been stopped, then it could have been a matter of time before someone was seriously injured or killed.

“If you have a head-cam or dash-cam, and capture dangerous or reckless driving, then please send that footage to us,” he added. “This case shows we will take action.”

As we reported last week, the National Police Chiefs’ Council has urged police forces throughout England & Wales to adopt seven principles relating to how they process video footage submitted by members of the public, with the aim of achieving consistency across forces, underlining the role that such footage can play in reducing road danger.

> Police chiefs call on forces across England & Wales to adopt consistent approach to video evidence submitted by public

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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13 comments

Avatar
FrankH | 2 years ago
5 likes

A couple of comments from the Facebook post:

David Chow
Can drivers submit footage to prosecute cyclist's that think they own the roads.
Oh we can't because, they have no reg to identify them.

and the reply:

Northumbria Police
Hi David, can you tell us how many drivers were killed in a collision with a cyclist in the last five years? We'll answer for you, it was zero. Irresponsible cycling puts the cyclist at risk, not the driver. It doesn't make it okay, but we focus on our resource in the areas that are most likely to cause serious injury or death. It's the person behind the wheel, not the one behind the handle bars, that can cause the greater harm.

laugh

Avatar
brooksby | 2 years ago
11 likes
Quote:

He was also banned from driving for 12 months, beginning with the date he is released from prison.

Hmm, not entirely convinced that will actually stop him driving... 

Avatar
Sriracha replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
7 likes
brooksby wrote:
Quote:

He was also banned from driving for 12 months, beginning with the date he is released from prison.

Hmm, not entirely convinced that will actually stop him driving... 

and, given that it was the fact of his name on the insurance which led the police to him, I'm guessing he won't make that mistake again.

Avatar
EK Spinner replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
3 likes
brooksby wrote:

Hmm, not entirely convinced that will actually stop him driving... 

 

Agreed, that is why I believe we should treat a driving ban like a suspended sentence, if you are caught driving whle banned you should automatically be jailed for the original ban duration (not the remainder), even if it is the day before the ban runs out 

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 years ago
17 likes

Good; six months ought to be enough to make him think twice about his behaviour, but yet again, a relatively short ban.  I'm guessing the prison sentence was entirely for perverting the cause of justice, and that the ban is for dangerous driving, but if the driving was that bad, surely the ban should be much longer?  Couple of years at least.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
10 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

I'm guessing the prison sentence was entirely for perverting the cause of justice

Indeed so: “Ultimately his lies have seen him put behind bars..."

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
11 likes
Sriracha wrote:
eburtthebike wrote:

I'm guessing the prison sentence was entirely for perverting the cause of justice

Indeed so: “Ultimately his lies have seen him put behind bars..."

Yup.  Its a little realised fact that judges view perverting the course of justice of very very dimly and it almost always carries some time in the Big House as a result.  Lying about who was driving is one of the most common, usually to avoid points.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:
Sriracha wrote:
eburtthebike wrote:

I'm guessing the prison sentence was entirely for perverting the cause of justice

Indeed so: “Ultimately his lies have seen him put behind bars..."

Yup.  Its a little realised fact that judges view perverting the course of justice of very very dimly and it almost always carries some time in the Big House as a result.  Lying about who was driving is one of the most common, usually to avoid points.

Cough-cough Chris Huhne, Fiona Onasanya - you'd think MPs would know these things...

Avatar
portec replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
9 likes

I'd like to see a longer ban too but unfortunately he doesn't seem like the type to stop driving just because he's banned.

Avatar
Carior replied to portec | 2 years ago
10 likes

Quite - although at least we don't know for a fact that the person will breach the ban.  I always enjoy the stories of the people who do something dangerous, whilst driving whilst banned and driving without insurance and their punishment... a ban... it's like seriously WTF - the individual is in front of you in part because they've demonstrated they don't give a flying fig about a driving ban but some idiot says - "hmmmm yes, a driving ban will teach them" - at times it is bafflingly stupid!

Avatar
jaymack replied to Carior | 2 years ago
1 like

"...Bafflingly stupid"? No, not really as the Court has to follow the sentencing guidelines which stipulate a custodial sentence and an additional disqualification in all but the most minor of cases. See www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Drive-whilst-disqualifie...

Avatar
qwerty360 replied to jaymack | 2 years ago
2 likes
jaymack wrote:

"...Bafflingly stupid"? No, not really as the Court has to follow the sentencing guidelines which stipulate a custodial sentence and an additional disqualification in all but the most minor of cases. See www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Drive-whilst-disqualifie...

 

That doesn't make it not "bafflingly stupid"

It just means the stupidity is on the part of central government (setting the guidelines) not the court implementing them...

Avatar
jaymack replied to qwerty360 | 2 years ago
0 likes

I don't wish to appear to be a pedant but the Sentencing Council's is an independent body and not "Central Government". In fact it would be "bafflingly stupid" to allow those who defy their disqualificaiton to return to the roads when the ban they've ignored expires. The problem is, as ever, austerity's impact on road Policing and the low priorty that the of the enforcement of traffic laws now endures. 

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