SENTENCING STATEMENTS

 

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When deciding a sentence, a judge must deal with the offence that the offender has been convicted of, taking into account the unique circumstances of each particular case. The judge will carefully consider the facts that are presented to the Court by both the prosecution and by the defence.

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HMA v Samuel Lloyd

 

Jun 9, 2021

At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lady Scott sentenced Samuel Lloyd to 3 years’ imprisonment after the offender was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.

 

On sentencing, Lady Scott made the following statement in Court: “You have been convicted of charge 1 on the indictment of driving dangerously whereby you caused the death of Julie Anne Goodman in contravention of section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This requires imprisonment.

In addition you pleaded guilty in charge 2 to driving while uninsured in contravention s 3ZB of the same Act.

Circumstances

On the morning of 15 October 2018 you were driving your motor car north on the A816 Lochgilphead to Oban road near to Kilmelford Oban. Road conditions were fair and there was traffic on the road. This was a road which you knew well. Then, as the eye witness described, you just moved out slightly and immediately the impact happened headlight to headlight.

Much was not in dispute:

  • You crossed the line into the southbound lane.
  • You did not see the deceased’s car.
  • The impact was instantaneous.
  • It was your fault and the deceased did nothing wrong.

At the scene you got out - you were injured and in a state of shock – you told people helping at the scene that you were overtaking. But subsequently and in evidence you have said you do not know the reason why you pulled across the line. 

Julie Anne Goodman was well loved and had countless friends. She was enjoying her life when it was so suddenly taken from her. Her loving husband, her father, sister and extended family, as well as her many friends, are left devastated and forever bereft.

Sentencing Factors

I have regard firstly to how bad the driving was and the degree of foreseeability of harm.

The jury were satisfied that you were overtaking or thinking about overtaking and trying to get a look ahead. Yet you knew the road was twisty and turning and hilly. You knew there was a car ahead of you. You knew at this part of the road there was an upcoming bend and hazards including a sign to reduce speed.

To cross over the central line when it appears you did not know what was coming presents an obvious and significant risk of danger. At the same time this was a momentary action and the dangerous driving was limited to this act immediately before collision. You were driving within the speed limit. I consider all of these factors under the English guidelines would place you at level 3.

There is the aggravating factor here of your prior conviction but this is relatively minor.

On the other hand I have also taken into account the features in mitigation and what has been said in your favour by counsel. These are significant.

I take into account your distress. That you immediately accepted this was your fault from the outset. That you had and still carry considerable remorse. I am satisfied that remorse will remain with you throughout your life. You have addressed your distress in mental health counselling  in regard to your own conduct and from your responsibility for having caused Mrs Goodman’s death and for the consequences of her loss to her family.

The background report is positive and there is no indication that you will re-offend. I have also read the numerous testimonials in your favour which are compelling.

You are 28 years of age. I take into account the affect to your own family and your young child of your imprisonment and the loss of your responsible job as the Skipper of landing craft for the fishing boats.

In respect of charge 2 you have been driving for some time before this and whilst your absence of insurance involved it being overlooked it is still a serious matter there was no excuse.

Balancing all of these factors and after consideration of the relevant guidelines, I sentence you as follows:

On charge 1, I sentence you to a sentence of 3 years imprisonment.

In addition you are disqualified from driving and applying for a driving licence for a period of 5 years. The disqualification imposed includes a mandatory extension period of 18 months in terms of s35C of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. You will require to re-sit the extended test of driving competence prior to obtaining a new licence.

On charge 2, I sentence you to 8 months imprisonment reduced from 12 months to reflect your early plea. This is to run concurrently to charge 1.

In addition you are disqualified from driving and applying for a driving licence for a period of 12 months. The disqualification imposed includes a mandatory extension period of 4 months in terms of s35C of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. This is also concurrent."

9 June 2021