Paul’s Law - Change the sentencing for Death by Careless Driving

Paul’s Law - Change the sentencing for Death by Careless Driving

2,146 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!

Why this petition matters

Started by Lorna Knowles

I am Paul Patterson’s wife, Lorna. We were together for 23 years. I want to change the sentancing guidelines/law for the charge of Death by Careless driving. Please help me.

11:05am on 2nd June 2021 was the moment my world stopped spinning. My husband and best friend, Paul, was taken away from me and my two children in such a sudden, tragic and horrific way. It was like losing my breath and never catching it again.
We still cannot comprehend how or why this happened and are living in a state of disbelief and indescribable grief. We have been given a life sentence as a result of someone else’s thoughtless actions.

Paul was travelling from our home, to see a friend. He was on his Vespa scooter. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. As he drove along the Blunsdon Road towards Highworth, he was hit by a car driven by a 20 year old man from the local area that decided to take the corner to the road that led him home, taking a corner between 20/30 MPH (a known collision hotspot ) near to where Paul was approaching from the opposite direction, Toby Clay (the driver) was turning on to the wrong side of the road regardless of Paul being in his path or not. 
Paul was killed instantly. He didn’t stand a chance.

From the day we got assigned our Family Liaison Officer, we were being informed that they had all the facts, the evidence, they did a reconstruction of the crash, they had evidence that Paul was there to be seen. But none of this was mentioned in court, in fact, the defendants solicitor stated, that the road had reduced visibility! We were advised because of the seriousness of this case, this would be heard in the Crown Court. It wasn’t. It was dealt with at Swindon Magistrates.

Toby Clay killed my husband on 2nd June and walked away from court with a 200hour Community Order. A mandatory 12 month driving ban and a £95 victim surcharge. There was no remorse from him. He had been posting himself partying and enjoying life on social media only 3 weeks after he killed my Paul.

This is the link to the sentencing guidelines for this offence. 

**The three levels of seriousness are defined by the degree of carelessness involved in the standard of driving. The most serious level for this offence is where the offender’s driving fell not that far short of dangerous. The least serious group of offences relates to those cases where the level of culpability is low – for example in a case involving an offender who misjudges the speed of another vehicle, or turns without seeing an oncoming vehicle because of restricted visibility. Other cases will fall into the intermediate level.

The starting point for the most serious offence of causing death by careless driving is lower than that for the least serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving in recognition of the different standards of driving behaviour. However, the range still leaves scope, within the 5 year maximum, to impose longer sentences where the case is particularly serious.

Where the level of carelessness is low and there are no aggravating factors, even the fact that death was caused is not sufficient to justify a prison sentence.**

This is so wrong on so many levels. How can a family of a loved one sit back and watch the lowest sentence be handed out, when someone has been killed? 
The law needs to be changed, there needs to be some kind of custodial sentence for an offence when a life has been taken. 

Please help me get enough signatures to have this  law looked at, I know that I need over 100,000 and I know that there are a lot of people that will be with me on this. I just need to get this out to as many people as I can.

Thank you

Lorna Knowles-Patterson

2,146 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!