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Anonymous

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Guy Procter  says:

Partner of jailed biker: "We could lose our house"

The partner of jailed 122mph speeder Robert Bennett says she¹s afraid the 47-year-old Hayabusa rider will lose his job and the house they share as a result of his conviction.   Bennett was sentenced to six months in Exeter jail last week after being filmed riding at 122mph with his 14 year old son riding pillion. Christine, Bennett's partner of three...

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  • Posted 6 years ago (06 March 2009 13:35)

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RM66

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 22

RM66 says:

A dispassionate view:

Here's my two penn'orth....

Having read the comments posted about this story, I have to say that I agree with them all... in part at least. Some however are a little more "passionate" than others.

I have tried to take an objective view and it is clear to me that there are obvious mitigating and aggravating factors. There are also the unknowns, such as the rider's experience and actual ability etc.

Dealing with the mitigation first. From what I saw of the footage on TV, the section of road where this occurred appeared to be very wide, straight and open. I recall the reporter making a comment about "if someone had pulled out..." but I do not recall seeing any junctions from where this was lkely. The traffic conditions were light and the rider obviously had his headlight on, making him more conspicuous to other road users.

Now the aggravating factors. The weather conditions were wet and therefore visibility was necessarily reduced by spray, the rain itself and lower light levels associated with it. And of course, he was carrying an inadequately protected pillion passenger - his own son. It is absolutely true that there is no requirement in law to be protected, besides the use of a helmet. Would I have taken my son on my bike at that speed, unprotected? Absolutely not. However, whilst I personally believe he was irresponsible in this regard, it was his decision and I doubt his son was a pillion against his will! If an unforeseen event had occurred, I think it highly likely an accident would have occurred, but it didn't.

The fact is that this guy WAS exceeding the speed limit, and substantially so. Whilst the film footage creates the impression that the speed wasn't that great, the tapography of a wide open road can create exeactly that illusion on film. I have no reason to doubt the speed recorded wasn't accurate. (The cross on the picture is simply the centre of the filmed image and laser speed detection does not require a flat surface, just a solid one off which the distance and relative time can be calculated, thus giving the speed.)

Furthermore, I don't personally have issue with the police. After all, the operator, who may well have been a civilian anyway, is employed to detect speeding offences. That's exactly what he was doing. Unfortunately, the rider, as we all do, knew that if he wee to get caught, prosecution may well follow, with various consequences depending on severity, if convicted.

Excessive speed IS a political hot potato and I agree that there is an absolute presupposition by the authorites that all accidents are speed related. They are not, but this is the driving factor in the constant reduction in speed limits and the siting of speed cameras.

And so to the conviction. I think the guy was guilty of exceeding the speed limit, but the punishment? That's the real question. Was anyone hurt as a result? No. Was anyone even inconvenienced? No. If I was to get caught speeding (for a second time!) would I expect to be punished for it? Yes, I would. Would I have been doing that sort of speed? Probably not. Would I expect to go to prison if I were? No.

I agree totally with the comments about the sentence being too harsh. Prison ought to be for the criminals, but invariably, they get 'community sentences' instead, and if they do go to prison, they won't werve their whole sentence. The law caters very well for speeding offences - fines, disqualification, but prison? Wholly inappropriate.

Can someone help me down off my soap box please.....?

 

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brikfiend

Joined:

Apr 07

Posts: 4

brikfiend says:

It's a tough life

If you can't do the time

Don't do the Crime.

He knew what he was doing.

I think we've all been speeding at some time or other but "With Great Power comes Great Responsibility."

Was that a 'Busa' ?

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290mph600

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 25

290mph600 says:

Bent coppers

My experience of falsified VASCAR readings (by police officers) are that they read 60% high. I'll let you decide whether it's more likely that the rider is doing 122 or 76.

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WombRaider

Joined:

Feb 06

Posts: 23

WombRaider says:

This country does not like motorcycles

I totally agree with DavidBowman about the lorry driver killing that woman and her children and getting a 1 and a half year prison sentence and then Bennett didnt kill anyone and got 6mths.The judge said if Bennett had a blow out at that speed his son would have been killed.Yes maybe so but he didnt have a blow out and his son is ok.Thats all irrelevant anyways.Bennett could have had a blow out at 40mph and his son could of been killed.Aliens from mars could of blasted Bennett with there photon torpedos.Its all bulls**t at the end of the day this country does not like motorcycles end of story.

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captinbk

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 4

captinbk says:

comparison

In a newspaper two guys vandalised cars and threatened to stab someone, compensation of £300 and 100 hours community service each, another broke in to a house assaulted someone, breach of the peace, 2 years probation.

No excuses we all know that speeding is against the law, we all think that we know the consequences, fine,penalty points, ban if over 100mph.

So far I have not been punished for speeding, do I constantly speed? No. Have I ever exceeded the limit ?     I plead the fifth your honour. My first memories of motorcycling? Sitting on the petrol tank of a bike between two strong protecting arms while holding on to the chrome carrier. Unsafe? Irresponsible?

Do you always look at the speedo if for example you overtake on a short straght or do you watch where you are going? I would feel safe betting that almost every "modern" bike of 600c.c. or over will very easily climb to three figures if trying to pass safely and quickly, as MCN braking tests showed recently they will also slow down rather quickly as well.

I neither condone nor condemn, I was not there, although 122 is quick on public roads and so much is not within our control,for example 2 deer ran in front of me a couple of nights ago, sometimes the only way that you will know if you have made a mistake is an out of body experience.

I wonder if he will be detained with other dangerous  criminals like council tax dodgers and worst of all parking violation repeat offenders.

Regrettably the possible spontaneous actions of an individual will be used once again to demonise motorcyclists. 

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mac'o'bolton

Joined:

Mar 08

Posts: 24

mac'o'bolton says:

He said the wrong thing...

He should have said he had just stolen the bike and was on his way to burgle old people.

I think you lot are right, people are scared of bikes.

 

 

 

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blinkers

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 5

blinkers says:

Made me think!

I was out on the Busa a few weeks ago .......with my 9 year old daughter on the back. Although in the main I stayed within the speed limits, one has a few brisk overtakes (when safe), who doesn't? A modern bike can reach silly figures in no time, but I look where I am going and not at the speedo. My little angel has full protective clothing, intercom and "love handles" at her request ........ and more importantly, wants to be on the bike and experience the thrill of being on 2 wheels. When this story broke I was horrified at the consequences, yes we all expect a fine and points if caught ...but Prison! Put me on a downer for the day. This country is messed up, perhaps its time to take my skills elsewhere. I don't fancy going to prison, loosing my job and home for what may have been  a few seconds of excess. ............then as for these I.D. camera thingys that track our movements on our favourite routes! More sillyness! Time to emigrate.

Well done to Steve Berry for his rant on Jeremy Vines show ref this story, especially when he called the antibiker journo "Love" it brightened up what was turniung out to be a depressing day.

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superbiker27

Joined:

Jul 05

Posts: 19

superbiker27 says:

This sentence is ridiculous, if it had been a car driver he would have possibly received a short ban and been fined. This is a typical example of a biased judge making a name for himself with no thought for the riders family etc. I am disgusted and as an ex Police Motorcyclist am fed up with this discrimatory feeling against motorcyclists in general.

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thedruid

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 1

thedruid says:

This first thing that his legal team should do is take a good look at the european court of human rights legislation. In there they will find that it says that all sentences should be proportionate to the offence. I think we have all heard of really lenient sentences for those in our society who are from deprived backgrounds. Nowhere in legislation does it say that if you are "deprived" that you should get a lenient sentence. Is jail proportionate for a speeding offence? No. I know we don't all know the full circumstances of the offence but speeding in its own right can not be deemed as dangerous, other factors have to be taken into account such as other road users, prevailling conditions and of course the road that the incident occured on.

I am a police traffic officer and trained to an advanced level in cars and on bikes. We do our car course in unmarked cars at a speed on some roads over 150mph. Dangerous, no. Fast, yes. Its about time that an appeal actually got some positive media coverage in relation to the discrimination shown by the courts to motorcyclists. Come on MCN, show your teeth. This is your opportunity to bring the appeal of this case to the general publics attention and not let it be forgotten due to more important news coming in about which celeb has had which haircut.

Summers nearly here, happy biking................... The Druid

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iMarcus

Joined:

Apr 08

Posts: 79

iMarcus says:

The more I read

The more I read on this, the more cynical I am getting as to whether or not Robert Bennett is a real person. There just seems to be one story too many, released at what is considered to be the start of the "biking season".

IF it is a genuine story, then fair enough he was driving excessively over the speed limit, he's put his hands up and said guilty so he's now suffering the consequences of a moment of poor judgement. Although I still don't see how the fact his "son" is not wearing gloves can be taken into account when the legal requirement is to only wear a helmet - personally I believe that gloves should be compulsory anyway, but thats not the point.

BUT the publicity this has received seems a little OTT for me. Remember THINK has a calendar for targetting certain groups of road users at certain times of the year, is it warn motorcyclists about speeding at the moment....

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