The appellant (U) appealed against a sentence of 30 months’ imprisonment following his conviction for causing death by dangerous driving.
The victim was an 89-year-old man who had been crossing the road when U had struck him. U had been driving a new, powerful car. Agreed expert evidence showed that U had been driving at 31-41 mph on a road where the speed limit was 30 mph and that he had failed to break significantly, immediately before the impact. Witnesses said U’s driving had been fast and aggressive. He had tale-gated one vehicle and undertaken another. U had been tried for causing death by dangerous driving, but was convicted of the lesser offence. The judge noted that the incident had taken place close to U’s home, so that he would have been familiar with the road. He put the offence in category 1A of the sentencing guidelines, which had a starting point of 15 months. U was a man of previous good character and had a blameless driving record.
U submitted that the sentence failed to give sufficient weight to his previous good character and driving record, or to the impact of the conviction on him and his family.
HELD: Passing a sentence that was twice the length of the starting point, the judge had failed to give sufficient weight to U’s previous good character, blameless driving record or the impact of the conviction on him and his family. The sentence should have been two years’ imprisonment.