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Showing posts from May, 2017

Charging decisions: cyclist mown down by driver

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As a specialist motoring solicitor I spend a lot of time talking to the Crown Prosecution Service about charging decision - usually trying to get them to reduce or drop the charge against my client. But, in this case, I think they got the charge badly wrong. Earlier today Justine Henshaw-Bryan was imprisoned for three-years (she won’t serve anywhere near that long) after she chased cyclist Damien Doughty in her car before deliberately running him over as he attempted to escape her by getting out of the road.
You can view the footage here but be warned it isn’t nice:
Ms Henshaw-Bryan pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was banned from driving for four and a half years. But the big question for me is why she was charged with that offence at all. Her driving was certainly dangerous and she did cause serious injury, Mr Doughty spent three days in intensive care, but her actions were also very deliberate.
The maximum sentence for causing serious i…

The limits of sexual freedoms: polygamy

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There is a trial ongoing in the Canadian province of British Columbia that raises some interesting questions about sexual freedoms in our liberal 21st century society. It’s the trial of Messrs Blackmore and Oler who between them have 28 wives; Mr Blackmore has the lions share having amassed 24 of the wives and having sired an impressive 145 children – I bet he can’t remember all their names.
Both men have been members of the Bountiful community, which is a religious sect that has been on the Mounties list of people to prosecute for a quarter of a century now. Both men have previously been tried on charges of bringing young teenage girls across the border to marry sect leader Warren Jeffs. Blackmore and one of his wives were convicted while Oler was acquitted.
While the previous trial involved child brides there is no suggestion in the current trial that the women to whom Blackmore and Oler are married are anything other than consenting adults. The Canadian state has previous tried to pr…