It was for a judge rather than a jury to decide on the criminal standard of proof, with the burden resting on the prosecution, whether “an accident” had occurred within the meaning of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 s.2 , which would obviate the requirement under s.1 of the Act for the service of notice of intended prosecution on an individual charged with dangerous driving.
In a case where there were no aggravating factors, a sentence of two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving was manifestly excessive and was substituted with a term of 12 months’ imprisonment.
The court stipulated sentencing guidelines for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving and careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs.
A fine totalling £100,000 for health and safety at work-related offences was reduced to a total of £55,000 on appeal after taking into account: (i) the offending company’s culpability; (ii) the extent of any criminal default; and (iii) by reference to the mitigating and offending factors contained in F Howe & Son (Engineers Limited (1999) 2 All ER 249.
The district judge was clearly in error in his objective appraisals of a collision between two cars, and there was no basis for concluding that the defendant was at fault.