Dangerous driving is an either way offence and as far as I can recollect I have never sat on such a case. Therefore it was with some surprise that I learned that a professional driver for an emergency service has no greater defence in law than Joe Public if for example his alleged offence was a by product of an urgent need to protect or save life. PC James Holden was prosecuted at Guildford Crown Court for dangerous driving but was acquitted by the jury. The details are reported by BBC.
Considering the great minds of the legal great and good are fixated on so called guidelines to hamstring sentencers to a “I prepared this sentence earlier” mentality where human behaviour is considered as a series of hurdles over which the sentencer has to jump to determine the appropriate punishment this anomaly is odd to say the least. If the situation had not been considered it was a disgraceful oversight. In all likelihood it was not an oversight. It was a deliberate action taken against common sense. Common sense is no longer a required competence for Justices of the Peace as it was when I was appointed. Perhaps it is a facility lacking also in other parts of the criminal justice system or perhaps the lack of a legal defence for blue light situations was a deliberate political act……..