Nigel Barclay, Banstead, Surrey, March 2012
Nigel was cycling along a quiet residential road when a driver coming from the opposite direction turned right into Nigel’s side of the road and hit him side on. Nigel suffered multiple injuries and was attended to at the scene by Surrey Air Ambulance before being taken to hospital where he remained for 2 months, spending the first 12 days on life support.
Nigel’s injuries included two broken legs (one badly), broken pelvis, shattered elbow and multiple fractures to the head which has resulted with him being left with double vision due to damage in one eye and is now deaf in one ear. His work and family life have severely suffered as a result, he is unable to return to his previous business due to his injuries and he will never be able to run properly again, if at all. Due to the injuries Nigel received, he had to surrender his driving licence and it took seventeen months to get it back.
The 19 year old driver was charged with, and, with the help of a QC, pleaded guilty to careless driving. He was given four penalty points and ordered to pay a £300 fine. The Magistrate’s justification for this sentence was that contributory factors needed to be considered: namely that Nigel had not been wearing a helmet and, according to witnesses, ‘was going quite fast’. CTC shares Nigel’s view that, legally, these factors should have been irrelevant to the sentence.
However, as a victim of a summary only offence, Nigel did not have the right to appeal the sentence, although the driver did.