A Surrey motorist has been jailed for 14 months in connection with an incident in Leatherhead last December in which a postman was knocked off his bike, suffering injuries including a fractured skull. The imposition of a custodial sentence reflects the specific charges the driver faced, rather than being related to the nature of the injuries suffered by the victim.
Shane Seamore, aged 32, was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on April 20 after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, perverting the course of justice, failing to stop after an accident and driving with no insurance or licence, reports This Is Surrey.
The court had heard how postman Steve Burden had suffered heavy bruising and a split eyebrow as well as a fractured skull in the hit-and-run incident.
Police discovered the car involved, a Vauxhall Corsa, later that day with a broken windscreen and damage to its bonnet. The vehicle belonged to Seamore’s girlfriend, but he told police that it had been stolen.
His 14 month jail sentence will be reduced by 53 days due to time he had earlier served on remand, and Seamore has also been banned from driving for two years and will also have to take an extended retest before getting his driving licence back.
The custodial sentence imposed in connection with the criminal charges that Seamore faced contrasts with what many cyclists view as more lenient sentencing in cases where a rider as been killed as a result of careless driving, as highlighted by several cases reported here in on road.cc in recent months.
Talking to This Is Surrey about the hit-and-run incident and its aftermath, Mr Burden said: "If the person stays and reports it, the person injured has a much better chance of surviving so I think he deserves what he got.
"In many ways it was lucky it was me and it wasn't an old person or an ill child because he would have killed them.
"I had a massive headache for three or four weeks,” he continued. “It was almost like having a steel bar around my head.
"I couldn't sleep very well because whichever way I lay it was too sore."
According to Mr Burden, his enforced absence from work in the three weeks leading up to Christmas meant that he missed out on between £1,200 and £1,500 in tips that he would have received from customers had he been able to carry out his rounds.
After working on light duties for some months, he is now delivering the mail again. "I wasn't going to let it take over my life, I won't stop doing things just because something like that happens," he explained.
"I have tried not to let it affect me. The first day I actually got back I had to talk myself into not only cycling out but making sure I did exactly the same thing and cycled the same way.
"It was his fault not mine, so why should I do anything different? I have to mentally push myself through," he concluded.
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.