Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Britain: Uninsured learner driver who killed schoolgirl walks free from court with $530 fine

A grieving mother yesterday condemned an uninsured driver who was handed a $530 fine for causing a crash which resulted in the death of her daughter. Samuel Clements, 19, illegally drove his Renault 19 two days after buying it, but the vehicle was unroadworthy. As he sped along a busy dual carriageway, he lost control of the car and rolled it along an embankment, coming to rest upside down. His passenger Sarah Gaecke, 15, was stumbling out of the wreckage when she was struck and killed by another car.

Despite previous convictions for driving without insurance and without a licence, Clements walked free. He was fined $50 for driving without a licence, $80 for having a defective tyre and $400 for having no insurance. He was also ordered to $160 costs and given eight penalty points on his driving licence. The trainee forklift-truck driver was banned from driving for a year under the totting up rules because he already had six points for his previous offences in March last year.

Sarah's mother Vici Gaecke, 36, who has three other children, said yesterday: 'He has ended my daughter's life and he has destroyed my family and what has he got? 'Nothing. There's no justice. There's been no closure. 'The fact he was in court last year charged with doing the same thing just twists the knife even further. 'It just shows he's going to keep doing it. If he'd been imprisoned there would have been justice for Sarah. Even community service would have been better than a small fine.'

Miss Gaecke, of Ipswich, who is divorced from Sarah's father Chris, 41, a security guard, said she supported the Daily Mail's campaign to raise the minimum age for driving to 18. 'These young male drivers cause the majority of serious accidents,' she said. 'They think they are indestructible.'

Sarah had been in Felixstowe with a group of friends when they started heading back towards Ipswich in two cars on the A14 on December 21 last year. Prosecutor Sandra Dyer told South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court that Clements's car ended up on its roof in lane one. Sarah was hit by another vehicle as she tried to scramble away, and died instantly. The driver of the car that hit her was not charged. Checks by police later revealed Clements's car had a badly defective tyre which probably caused him to lose control.

Chairman of the bench Anthony Baker said the teenager's decision to drive the vehicle was a ' deliberate act'. But he allowed him to walk free from court after hearing he had not been charged with any offences relating to Sarah's death. The Ministry of Justice yesterday said a long-awaited law that could see motorists charged with causing death while driving unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured - carrying a maximum two-year jail term - would be introduced this summer.

But Mrs Gaecke said the new law probably wouldn't have applied in her daughter's case as she was killed while getting out of Clements's car after the accident. 'Two years for killing someone while driving without the right documents is not enough. 'I think if you take someone's life you should go down for life,' she said. Speaking after the hearing, Clements, who admitted all the offences, said: 'It's been a nightmare. I'll never forget about it.'

Original report here

Innocence is no defense again

According to an article in the Orange County Register. Nature's Wellness Collective owner Bob Adams said the dispensary was raided by approximately 14 DEA agents armed with assault rifles and accompanied by members of the Orange Police Department. Adams said agents took all of his medicinal marijuana supply, money from the store's register and ATM machine, computers, cameras, smoking pipes and his city-issued business license and detained him and his three employees.

Now why is this ridiculous? Because they were released without being charged of any crime. So if no crime was being committed then why did the inappropriate number of officers participate in this raid? Do they not have more pressing issues to address or is Orange County the only county in America that does not have car thefts, home burglaries, armed robberies, etc?

Apparently there was no intent in the raid to prosecute the alleged perpetrators, just to seize the money and assets and to send a message that the DEA was on da job. And if there was no intent to prosecute, then why did the raid happen in the first place and why did they need so many officers to raid a non-violent medical marijuana dispensary? Do these places have a history of being violent? Did the owner and employees have previous arrests for violence? I know that I would be ashamed to participate in this type of police action.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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