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"Cowardly" unlicensed driver who ran over cyclist, hid vehicle and lied to police sentenced to 22 months in prison

Aaron Rogers failed to stop after hitting and killing Ian Edwards, then hid his van and denied he was the driver after being arrested

An unlicensed driver who ran over a cyclist before fleeing the scene and attempting to hide his vehicle has been sentenced to 22 months in prison, alongside a two year and 11 month driving ban. 

23-year-old Aaron Rogers, from Whitchurch in Shropshire, killed 56-year-old Ian Edwards on the evening of July 21 2020 when he hit him with a Vauxhall Astra Van, reports the Shropshire Star

Although the details were not clear according to the prosecutor, Mr Edwards is said to have been drinking at the Bull & Dog pub in Whitchurch that evening, and left shortly after a couple he had been drinking with at around 11.30pm. The couple, Joanne Kemp and Robert Thorp, left on bikes, and Mr Edwards also cycled away from the pub to catch up with them. 

Rejoining the pair on the B5476, it was said that Mr Edwards hit the rear wheel of Ms Kemp's bike, which caused her to crash and him to fall into the road. 

Rogers' van then struck Mr Edwards, who died at the scene as a result of his injuries despite efforts to save him. The recorder described it as a "terrible coincidence" that Mr Edwards happened to fall into the road at the moment Rogers was driving illegally on the carriageway. 

The recorder said that after driving away from the scene, Rogers hid his vehicle for a number of days. He was arrested after police examinded CCTV, and initially denied he was driving; although the court heard that he told a friend soon after the incident that he had run a man over. 

The court also heard that unlicensed Rogers had been using a mobile phone that was on speaker on his lap shortly before he hit Mr Edwards, and that he was driving along the quiet B road to avoid being detected by police. 

The recorder said to Rogers: "For whatever reason Mr Edwards did not have lights on his bike or reflective clothing and when he left the pub at 11.30pm he was travelling on a fairly poorly lit road. As he was cycling home a series of extremely unfortunate and tragic events unfolded.

"He had a collision with another cyclist who had been in the Bull with him. It caused him to fall off and he was lying prone in the road.

"In a terrible coincidence you were also on this road.

"You told a friend because you knew it to be quiet and you were less likely to come into contact with the police, knowing you should not have been on the road at all.

"You car drove into and over Mr Edwards while he was on the floor. He died at the scene.

"Every effort was made to save him by a number of people, including obtaining a defibrillator. When I say every effort I mean by a number of people, your actions were in sharp contrast to those who tried to save him.

"You simply drove off. That was a despicable and cowardly thing to do."

Mitigating for Rogers, Paul Smith said: "He says if he could turn the clock back he would do it in a heartbeat.

"The deceased was not unknown to him, or the family, and he wants to say through me that he cannot imagine the pain they are feeling as a family.

"He has not stopped thinking about what happened since."

Rogers admitted to causing death by driving while uninsured and without licence, and failing to stop. His sentence of 22 months was made up of six months each for driving while uninsured and without licence, both running concurrently, four months for failing to stop, running concurrently, and 16 months running consecutively for the breach of a 21-month suspended sentence order. 

Unlicensed Rogers was also disqualified from driving for two years and 11 months.

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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31 comments

Avatar
Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
5 likes

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Utter disgrace of a sentence.

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grOg replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
0 likes

Why so? seems more than adequate to me for leaving the scene of an accident and being unlicensed.  To be clear, the cyclist was affected by alcohol, riding at night without lights or at least reflectives and crashed into his cycling friend in front, falling onto the road (not floor) in front of a motor vehicle, which ran him over. If Rogers had been licensed and stopped to assist the cyclist, he would not have been held responsible for the accidental death of the cyclist.

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ribena | 1 year ago
3 likes

Why doesn't fleeing the scene of an accident have a very large fixed penalty in addition to the penalty for whatever it is they were trying to cover up by fleeing? Or does it? It all seems a bit of a mystery.

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Bungle_52 replied to ribena | 1 year ago
3 likes

So that if you have no conscience and a good (expensive) lawyer you have a good chance of getting away with it. Same applies to paying income tax and a great many other things in our society. Laws made for and by the rich. Have a look at the lords debate on raising the punishment for failing to stop.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-11-15/debates/2F33B858-4F79-4...

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Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
9 likes

I'm struggling to see how a driving ban would stop someone who wasn't licensed to drive anyway and didn't care.

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nosferatu1001 replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
2 likes

Car Delenda Est wrote:

I'm struggling to see how a driving ban would stop someone who wasn't licensed to drive anyway and didn't care.

the theory is that continuing to drive while banned is aggravating and can result in a stiffer sentence the next time they're caught. 

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Peowpeowpeowlasers replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
3 likes

Driving while banned is an arrestable offence.  Driving without a licence is not.

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bobbypuk replied to Peowpeowpeowlasers | 1 year ago
0 likes

Why not?

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JustTryingToGet... | 1 year ago
15 likes

Regardless of whether there is enough evidence to prove to the standard of a court whether he contributed to the poor man's death, I don't understand why penalties are so low for such serious and dangerous crimes.

On top of that, I suspect a competent driver that wasn't using a mobile when driving may have been better equipped to avoid running someone over.

Another piece of shit gets away with adding to the KSI statistics.

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the little onion | 1 year ago
16 likes

I know that this scumbag is happy to drive without a license but......

 

what do you have to do to get a serious or lifetime driving ban? 

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jaymack replied to the little onion | 1 year ago
1 like

Sadly if he was willing to drive without a licence etc. a lifetime ban would be completely ineffective. Sad? Certainly but that's one of the reasons such bans aren't handed out

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hawkinspeter replied to jaymack | 1 year ago
13 likes

jaymack wrote:

Sadly if he was willing to drive without a licence etc. a lifetime ban would be completely ineffective. Sad? Certainly but that's one of the reasons such bans aren't handed out

Alternatively, they should hand out lifetime bans like candy and any time that the person is caught driving unlicensed, they get a immediate 5 year prison sentence. Alternatively, we carry on with needless deaths on the roads caused by selfish entitled assholes.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
10 likes

Another example where there should be a significant penalty for leaving the scene of a collision. Also, there is nobody that wants this murderer back on the roads, ever.

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grOg replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Ascribing this accidental death as murder is ridiculous.

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Hirsute replied to grOg | 1 year ago
3 likes

He accidentally drove while uninsured and without licence and accidentally ended up on the phone whilst driving ?

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Flintshire Boy replied to grOg | 1 year ago
1 like

.

Hey, Groggy, five posts and you're not getting much (any, in fact) in the way of agreement.

.

Maybe time to review your position on this matter?

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IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
21 likes

22 months for killing a cyclist seems lenient.
Then you read the details...

16 months is a previous suspended sentence.
He only got 6 months in total for; driving without insurance, driving without a licence, and failing to stop.
He got nothing for killing a cyclist. Nothing.
No penalty for dangerous or careless driving. Not even for using a mobile phone.
No charge of manslaughter.
He fled the scene, hid his vehicle and lied about the incident. Yet no charge of perverting or obstructing justice.

Oh, but don't forget he is banned from driving for 2 years and 11 months. Though he doesn't have a licence so he can't legally drive anyway. So no change there.

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NOtotheEU replied to IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
8 likes

It's even worse than that. The suspended sentence was 21 months and the new sentence was 22 months so he really only got a month for all the offences and he won't even serve that because everyone gets out early.  A motor vehicle really is the only dangerous weapon that you can use to legally kill someone. 

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IanGlasgow replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
5 likes

NOtotheEU wrote:

It's even worse than that. The suspended sentence was 21 months and the new sentence was 22 months so he really only got a month for all the offences and he won't even serve that because everyone gets out early.  A motor vehicle really is the only dangerous weapon that you can use to legally kill someone. 

Youre' right.
I had assumed it was a 16 month sentence suspended for 21 months. But it wasn't - 21 months for Actual Bodily Harm in February 2020. Incredibly the judge reduced that tariff by 25% because he pleaded guilty - but not until the day of the trial!
He got 1 month for driving with no licence or insurance, killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene. 1 month.

https://www.whitchurchherald.co.uk/news/20000420.whitchurch-man-jailed-2...

 

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WBoy replied to IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
7 likes

Had the driver been licensed, and had stayed at the scene, it seems unlikely from the evidence that there would have been any prosecution at all, since there's apparently no evidence that the way the vehicle was driven contributed to the death. That being so, it was inevitable that the only charges which could be brought were indirect, relating to his status and subsequent behaviour, rather than the collision itself.

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Grahamd replied to WBoy | 1 year ago
10 likes

WBoy wrote:

Had the driver been licensed, and had stayed at the scene, it seems unlikely from the evidence that there would have been any prosecution at all, since there's apparently no evidence that the way the vehicle was driven contributed to the death. That being so, it was inevitable that the only charges which could be brought were indirect, relating to his status and subsequent behaviour, rather than the collision itself.

But therein lies the perverse nature of our laws. Traffic laws inherently have lower tariffs than if similar incidents where to happen in any other scenario, but such leniency should not apply where no licence is held. Throw out soft motoring offences and charge such b@stards with manslaughter.

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WBoy replied to Grahamd | 1 year ago
2 likes

I think you may have missed my point. If there were to be a manslaughter charge, or any other charge relating to the collision itself, there would need to be some incriminating evidence about the nature of the driving immediately before and at the point of collision. There was, apparently, none. There's nothing in the Recorder's sentencing remarks to indicate that there was. It may well have been that the car was too close to the riders, or moving too fast to avoid hitting the unfortunate victim after he'd fallen into the road. But unless there were evidence to that effect, no charge relating to the defendant's actual driving at the time could have been brought. That isn't perverse: it's a basic principle of justice. You can't convict without evidence.

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Grahamd replied to WBoy | 1 year ago
5 likes

I recognise your comments and the innocent until proven guilty premise, but there remains a fundamental flaw. He should not have been driving, his guilt of that is unquestionable. If we start with the premise that having a licence recognises that you have acquired a certain a level of competence, then not having one indicates you have not yet reached that standard, or previously have and shown such disregard of the rules that you have lost it. This should be the default starting position, the driver was not fit to drive and so should be charged accordingly. Whether anything can be proven is a different matter.
 

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eburtthebike replied to Grahamd | 1 year ago
4 likes

Grahamd wrote:

I recognise your comments and the innocent until proven guilty premise, but there remains a fundamental flaw. He should not have been driving, his guilt of that is unquestionable. If we start with the premise that having a licence recognises that you have acquired a certain a level of competence, then not having one indicates you have not yet reached that standard, or previously have and shown such disregard of the rules that you have lost it. This should be the default starting position, the driver was not fit to drive and so should be charged accordingly. Whether anything can be proven is a different matter.
 

Excellent points, and there is also the fact that he wouldn't have been on that road if he hadn't been illegal and avoiding the police.

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nosferatu1001 replied to Grahamd | 1 year ago
0 likes

But he was charged with that- that's the 6 month sentence 

 

what's missing is any suggestion that his standard of driving meant he collided. He's shouldn't have been driving, but once he was it doesn't mean he is automatically responsible for everything that hsppened. 
 

 

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NOtotheEU replied to nosferatu1001 | 1 year ago
2 likes

nosferatu1001 wrote:

what's missing is any suggestion that his standard of driving meant he collided. He's shouldn't have been driving, but once he was it doesn't mean he is automatically responsible for everything that hsppened. 
 

 

That's what makes everyone so angry. It's true that legaly It doesn't mean he is automatically responsible for everything that happened. Maybe it's time that the law was changed to say you are automatically responsible for anything that happens if you illegally drive?

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grOg replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
0 likes

Like just being Russian makes one responsible for the actions of Putin? great logic..

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grOg replied to Grahamd | 1 year ago
0 likes

Utter nonsense; you can lose your license for offences that have nothing to do with your ability to drive a motor vehicle; regardless, there was no evidence that his driving ability had anything to do with the death of the cyclist.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to grOg | 1 year ago
3 likes

There is no evidence in the article that he ever held a license, there is also no evidence here that the cyclist was drunk. Yet you instantly assume the driver is a brilliant driver who was unfortunate enough to not have a license and was "entrapped" by a drunken lout into breaking several laws. 

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grOg replied to WBoy | 1 year ago
0 likes

Note the mob mentality in the vast majority of the comments.. they'd all hang the bloke because he ran over a cyclist; no care for nuance or detail regarding the drunken cyclist being responsible for his own demise.

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