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Jail for speeding driver who killed teenage cyclist and fled scene

Kayn Galer had previously been warned twice by police about his driving

A speeding and uninsured driver who had previously twice been warned by police about his driving has been jailed for nine months after he crashed into a teenage cyclist, fatally injuring him, and fled the scene.  

Kayn Galer, aged 20, had pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to causing the death by careless driving of 13-year-old Gregg Lewis McGuire in Washington, Tyne & Wear, reports ITV News.

Galer, who had only held his driving licence for nine months, was on his way to a car meet in his modified Vauxhall Corsa when he crashed into the youngster, who was riding home after meeting friends, on the evening of 14 August last year.

Collision investigators established that he had been driving at 46mph in a 30mph zone immediately before the collision, and that despite applying his brakes was unable to avoid crashing into the teenager, who never regained consciousness and died of head injuries two days later.

A bus driver who had spotted Galer shortly before the collision said that he had been “flying towards us” and, in reference to his speed, thought at the time that “he’s doing a ton.”

Gavin Doig, prosecuting, said: “The bus driver saw the defendant collide with something and something flew into the air. He was not aware of what he had hit at that time.

“The defendant didn't stop. He slowed down, then the bus driver said he ‘took off, like literally stormed off’,” Mr Doig added.

Galer drove away from the scene to attend the car meet despite his windscreen being smashed, telling people there, “I’ve hit someone.”

When he returned to the collision scene later, he lied to police about the speed he had been driving at, claiming first that he had been travelling at 30mph, before changing that to say his speed had been 20mph.

Officers had previously handed Galer Section 59 notices on two occasions to warn him over the standard of his driving, the second coming just six weeks before the fatal crash.

In a victim impact statement, Gregg’s mother Alison Rudkin said: “He was such a funny character and always had us laughing. He could achieve anything he put his mind to.

“He was the glue in our family. No mother should have to watch their fit and health 13-year-old boy die.

“I pray Gregg was not in pain and was unaware the driver had left him. I'm so thankful to the people that did try to help him.”

She added: “Life without Gregg is not a life worth living. Life is a living hell. He was my baby boy, my everything.”

Galer, who also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving following the crash, driving without insurance and failure to stop at the scene of a collision, was also banned from driving for three years.

Sentencing him, Judge Paul Sloan KC told Galer: “Gregg McGuire was a popular, happy, caring boy who had his whole life before him. Now, because of your actions that evening, his family have been left utterly broken.

“No sentence I am permitted by law to impose can even begin to ease their pain and suffering, pain and suffering that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

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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33 comments

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PRSboy | 8 months ago
5 likes

I recall reading a full sentence, where a judge explained exactly why they'd arrived at the sentence given.

I can't find anything similar in this instance, I'd be very interested to read how Judge Sloan arrived at 9 months out of a possible 5 years, given it was death by careless driving after two previous official warnings, speeding, leaving the scene, no insurance.

I respectfully suggest that proper sentencing for dangerous drivers could potentially save many more lives than new rules and offences directed at cyclists.

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peted76 | 8 months ago
4 likes

Yet another needless, stupid road death. While I understand that putting a young adult (20) in prison isn't something the law 'wants' to do, this criminal took the life of someone with more life to live. How does the victims family find 'justice' in nine months custodial? 

Also there is absolutley no reason on earth that this criminal should ever hold a driving licence again. He's proved, without excuse, that he's not safe to be on public roads and should not be allowed the privilege again. A three year ban is an insult to us all.

Overall, another gutless shit show of UK law.

 

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yupiteru | 8 months ago
6 likes

If a moron had killed my son in this manner he would have been well advised to move a long, long way away when he leaves prison, as I would be waiting for the bastard.

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perce replied to yupiteru | 8 months ago
3 likes

I agree. Sentencing like this will inevitably lead to people taking the law into their own hands.

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brooksby | 8 months ago
4 likes

"Kayn Galer" - is it me or are more and more people beginning to sound like minor characters from Star Wars?

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Morgoth985 replied to brooksby | 8 months ago
0 likes

Only the ones that commit road crimes.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 8 months ago
4 likes

9 months is pitiful. It should be at least 9 years. 

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Mungecrundle | 8 months ago
14 likes

Sentencing him, Judge Paul Sloan KC may as well have said. "You didn't give a fuck about the consequences of your actions on the young person you killed that evening or the lifetime of grief you have caused to his family. And neither do I"

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Morgoth985 replied to Mungecrundle | 8 months ago
6 likes

This "no sentence will bring them back" bollocks is winding me up no end.  The purpose of the criminal law is not - obviously - to bring back the deceased victim.  Do the learned judges and magistrates need to go back to law school for a bit of a refresher?

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NOtotheEU | 8 months ago
24 likes

“No sentence I am permitted by law to impose can even begin to ease their pain and suffering, pain and suffering that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

said the judge. Shame he didn't follow up with;

"so I am imposing the maximum sentence permitted by law to at least provide them with some justice and also to protect others from your murderous selfishness."

Instead he handed down a joke of a sentence showing how little he and society in general value the life of a cyclist. 

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Rendel Harris replied to NOtotheEU | 8 months ago
12 likes

100% what I feel about such stupid judicial statements, of course nothing will ever take away their pain and suffering, why on earth is that an argument for leniency? You've done something so awful that the victim's family will never recover from it so I'll give you a few months rather than the five years you could have?

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OnYerBike replied to NOtotheEU | 8 months ago
4 likes

Agreed. Looking at the Sentencing Guidelines, I really struggle how the Judge decided this was an appropriate sentence. Nine months would seem to be towards the lower end of the scale, when this case seems like it ought to have been towards the higher end of the scale given guidelines on culpability and aggravating factors (albeit there would be a reduction for the guilty plea). 

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SimoninSpalding replied to OnYerBike | 8 months ago
4 likes

I notice the sentencing guidelines are effective from 1 July 2023. I don't know if this relates to the date of the trial or the date of the offence.

Either way even if he got the max 5 years it would still be lenient. Also I don't understand how he can plead guilty to dangerous driving, but it was accepted that it was only careless driving that caused the death????

Finally, the section 59 notice thing. I have just read the legislation, and I struggle to understand how he was issued with 2 notices. The purpose of the notice is to warn a driver "you are driving dangerously, if we see you doing it again we can seize your car". So why wasn't his car seized on the second occasion?

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OnYerBike replied to SimoninSpalding | 8 months ago
1 like

That's a good point - I hadn't twigged the effective date, and I'm not sure what that relates to.

On the dangerous/careless driving thing, I wouldn't say I agree with it but after the collision, he continued to drive despite the damage to his windscreen making it almost impossible to see through; even greater speeds recorded (56mph); and swerving onto the wrong side of the road. Although the driving before the collision was self-evidently dangerous, there appear to have been fewer concrete things the prosecution could point to (only the speed of 46mph).

On the S59 notice, it might just come down to police "discretion". Having just skimmed the legislation myself, it says nothing that the police must seize a vehicle if the behaviour continues; only that they cannot normally seize a vehicle without a warning first. Although as you say, it would appear to undermine the purpose of the warning if the punishment is not in fact subsequently carried out.

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mattw | 8 months ago
10 likes

The killer had been driving for 9 months, during which time he had been issued with TWO Section 59 (ASBO warning - do it again and we will seize your vehicle) notices.

A Section 59 normally lasts 12 months.

If it had been seized on the second occasion...

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brooksby replied to mattw | 8 months ago
0 likes

Where are s.59 notices recorded? Is it centrally with the DVLA or locally with the police force that issued it? I wonder whether he had those two notices from two different forces and they didn't share information to a useful degree...

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Muddy Ford | 8 months ago
21 likes

But a cyclist who collided with a pedestrian that stepped out into the road whilst fiddling with phone, unfortunately resulting in the death of that pedestrian gets 18mths in prison. There is a wave of anti cycling vitriol in the press and the government promises to implement laws to protect pedestrians from the danger of furious and wanton cyclists. If this driver had been riding a bike he would have got a longer jail term.

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hawkinspeter replied to Muddy Ford | 8 months ago
2 likes

Muddy Ford wrote:

But a cyclist who collided with a pedestrian that stepped out into the road whilst fiddling with phone, unfortunately resulting in the death of that pedestrian gets 18mths in prison. There is a wave of anti cycling vitriol in the press and the government promises to implement laws to protect pedestrians from the danger of furious and wanton cyclists. If this driver had been riding a bike he would have got a longer jail term.

Although the cyclist accused the pedestrian of staring at her phone, there was no evidence to support that.

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wycombewheeler replied to Muddy Ford | 8 months ago
2 likes

Muddy Ford wrote:

But a cyclist who collided with a pedestrian that stepped out into the road whilst fiddling with phone, unfortunately resulting in the death of that pedestrian gets 18mths in prison. There is a wave of anti cycling vitriol in the press and the government promises to implement laws to protect pedestrians from the danger of furious and wanton cyclists. If this driver had been riding a bike he would have got a longer jail term.

1) no evidence of phone use

2) going out on the road without the required brakes.

Interesting that if you ride a fixie with no brakes it is wanton and reckless, but if you hire a santander bike with no effective brakes and a freehub that's all ok.

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absolute right | 8 months ago
9 likes

One hopes a significant period of disqualification and an extended test in addition to the four and a half months in prison (out after half on licence); dear Judge, what message have you sent to those who avoid cycling (and dissuade their children from cycling) for safety reasons and to those who drive toy cars without a scintilla of skill? 5 years would have been barely sufficient. Presumably offence pre-dated recent sentencing guidelines, but you could have done better given the aggravating factors. Please may the sentence  be reviewed as unduly lenient. 

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OldRidgeback replied to absolute right | 8 months ago
17 likes

I feel really sorry for the parents of the lad that died. This sentence must be an insult. RIP to the victim.

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mike the bike replied to absolute right | 8 months ago
0 likes

absolute right wrote:

One hopes a significant period of disqualification and an extended test in addition to the four and a half months in prison (out after half on licence); . 

I hope I'm still correct when I say the "serve half' rule only applies to sentences over 12 months.  But these things change and I'm sure someone is more up to date than me.

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SimoninSpalding replied to mike the bike | 8 months ago
1 like
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the little onion | 8 months ago
11 likes

consistently awful, aggressive, dangerous driver, in a souped up car on their way to a car meet.

 

time to call this modified car culture what it is - a danger to the law abiding public. 

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chrisonabike replied to the little onion | 8 months ago
5 likes
the little onion wrote:

time to call this modified car culture what it is - a danger to the law abiding public. 

Gonna indulge myself with a little "woke wonkery":

time to call this car culture what it is - a danger to the public - mitigated by patching back in safety after the fact. Safety improvements particularly for the occupants of motor vehicles, with further reductions in casualties coming via pedestrians having "learned their place" * and the numbers of users of vehicles smaller than cars or slower than motorbikes declining to a few %.

* our place is clearly not on motor infra! Safety exchanged for convenience with long diversions from "desire lines" and waits at pedestrian crossings.

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stealfwayne | 8 months ago
3 likes

Fatally injured = killed. 

9 Months Jail for speeding driver with a history of poor driving, who fatally injured Killed teenage cyclist.

time for a discussion about restricting the high power options and mods' new drivers can add be permitted to drive. 

 To surely be added to the huge list of what feels like extremely lenient sentences  recently. 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to stealfwayne | 8 months ago
11 likes

He was also sentenced for other dangerous driving, driving without insurance and leaving the scene of the crime, so how much of the 9 FUCKING MONTHS is for the 13yo's life. 

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eburtthebike | 8 months ago
6 likes

Galer, who also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving following the crash,...

And

Kayn Galer, aged 20, had pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to causing the death by careless driving

Surely if he's pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, the death was caused by that, not careless driving?  Could someone with some legal knowledge inform me please.

 

 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to eburtthebike | 8 months ago
3 likes

CPS couldn't be bothered to convince the Judge and Jury that driving 50% over the speed limit is dangerous. 

They managed to do dangerous for the second because his windscreen was smashed. 

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Safety | 8 months ago
12 likes

History of poor driving, driving without insurance, driving at excessive speed and leaving the scene of an accident. This results in only 9 months inside and only a three year ban. FFS! what on earth are these judges thinking?
This must add insult to injury to his parents. If I wasn't so angry after reading this I'd be in tears for them.

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