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Why Was He Not Charged With Manslaughter?

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davebro | 08:07 Wed 22nd Dec 2021 | Law
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He should have been.
That’s painful to read. What a creature!
he should have been, ridiculous sentence in my opinion, and to taunt the family, what a horrible man.
er because the CPS ( charging) thought he would get acquitted on that charge.
Perhaps NJ will intervene - he did a lot of this....
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Yet in this case the driver was done for murder & the passenger for manslaughter - it just doesn't make sense.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-59754012
From that link, "A 17-year-old boy from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, who was driving the car, and his passenger Patrick O'Driscoll, 18, from Hertford, were chasing a cyclist at the time."

How are the two cases similar?
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they both hit & killed an innocent bystander
In your last link, the driver was pursuing someone cycling on the road and had they not hit the pedestrian crossing the road, they could have ended up killing the cyclist.

They were driving in a deliberately dangerous manner and the bar for murder or manslaughter is set at a much higher level than causing a death whilst driving.
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phooey!
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There are many other examples of manslaughter. A particularly common occurrence is vehicular manslaughter. This is when you drive in a dangerous or reckless way, causing another person’s death. This might happen as a result of drink/drug driving, speeding, dangerous driving, careless driving or distracted driving.
//phooey!//

Phooey or not, dave, Corby has explained it correctly.

The problem with looking at criminal offences when all you have is a brief report from the telly or a newspaper, is that you are lucky if you have 5% of the information that any decision was based on and very often you have far less than that. In every criminal prosecution, the CPS must undertake a two-part test before authorising charges. The second is a "public interest" test which does not concern us here. But the first is an "evidential test." The CPS must be sure that sufficient evidence exists that, taken at its best, would see a conviction. There simply is no point in prosecuting somebody for an offence which CPS lawyers know is unlikely to be successful. It's certainly important that defendants are not "under charged" with less serious offences. But it is equally (if not more) important that they are not "over charged" with offences when a successful prosecution is unlikely. The CPS has all the information to enable them to do that. We do not.
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In my opinion the CPS under-charged in the first case but over-charged in the second.

Am I right?
I'm not wrong.
NJ don't know if you will see this, but I am very interested to know if and how laws can be changed.
I fully understand NJs post, but looking back to the death of PC Harper, the three involved with his death did get charged with manslaughter, and convicted of such. Dangerous driving was involved, along with theft, both a crime. In the case, dangerous driving, and the use of drugs, both a crime. Are they not very much alike NJ?
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NJ can always fall back (probably with justification) on the "we don't know all the facts" argument. I think in these cases the facts are pretty plain.
I know the public outcry for PC Harpers death was for a murder charge. It appears reading NJs post that the CPS didn't think they would get such a charge through so opted for the lesser charge.
//Are they not very much alike NJ?//

I wouldn’t know. I only know what I’ve read in the papers and seen on the telly.

//I think in these cases the facts are pretty plain.//

What we know is pretty plain (if it’s been reported correctly). What we don’t know…well, we don’t know.

To be honest there is some appalling reporting both on the TV and in the press. Very often, especially in motoring cases, the report is not only deficient, it is often misleading and just plain wrong. A case in point: a couple of weeks back it was reported that a driver had “racked up 78 [or thereabouts] points” for speeding and was not banned. He’d done nothing of the sort. His car had been caught by a speed camera a number of times but the alleged offences had not been processed because teh Registered Keeper had neglected to change his address on his V5C (“logbook”). He actually racked up no points whatsoever and had not faced or avoided a ban. It had only been reported because the police had finally caught up with him. His prosecutions were still pending. But the headline would not be quite so sensational if it read “Police finally catch up with the Registered Keeper of a car which they suspect was involved in 19 speeding cases.”

An awful lot of information that is provided in court proceedings is not published (it would take too long and much of it would be tedious). So making a judgement on a CPS charging decision is pointless. All you can say is “I don’t see why he didn’t face (say) a manslaughter charge.” The CPS have no reason to undercharge people but they have a duty to see justice done. Justice will not be done if they initiate a prosecution that stands little or no chance of success in court. In this particular case, what's best - a manslaughter charge which is unlikely to succeed or a charge of causing death by careless driving, which is?
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But I don't understand how they could get convictions for murder & manslaughter in the second case. How was there "intent" to kill the pedestrian when their intention was to chase the cyclist. I would expect the verdicts & sentences to be appealed in that case.
So in other words NJ, you may not get charged for what you have done, but there's a 99% chance you will get found guilty for what "we" charge you with?
I am no expert, but as I understand it, the CPS needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the death of the victim was the accused's premeditated intention, in order for a charge of murder to be brought, and for a weight of evidence to provide a better than fity per cent chance of a conviction.

In terms of manslaughter, as I understand it once again, a degree of intent has to be present, and in this case, it was not present, hence the absence of the charge.

Looking at a siutation as a simple scenario, and deciding that an accused should be accused of something that will generate the maximum sentence, is not the way the law works.

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