Seriously injured cyclist slams driver’s £95 fine
9:01am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
A CYCLIST who was mowed down by an elderly car driver has branded his sentence “dreadful” after magistrates gave the pensioner only a modest fine.
The family of John Drake, who was put on a life support machine, said their goodbyes to him twice after he was hit in Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, by a Toyota Yaris driven by Ronald Finney.
Mr Drake pulled through despite breaking his back in four places, suffering memory loss from a brain injury, having a fractured skull, a broken nose and 30 other broken bones, including his cheek bone.
His right ear was also torn in the accident on May 6, which left him in hospital for six weeks.
On Tuesday, Finney, aged 84, of Tottington Road, Harwood, was ordered to pay a £95 fine, £35 costs and a £10 victim surcharge.
He was also given six penalty points on his driving licence, which he had already voluntarily surrendered to the DVLA.
Finney admitted driving without due care and attention and driving a vehicle on a road with eyesight which did not comply with requirements.
Mr Drake, aged 53, a former special project manager at Ascot Environmental in Radcliffe, said: “The sentence does not act as a deterrent to somebody. You would get a longer sentence if you nicked some Mars bars.
“The fine isn’t a week’s pay on minimum wage. The system is dreadful.
“I would have thought he would get a suspended prison sentence or something far greater, such as a ban from driving.
“If it hadn’t been for off-duty firefighter Darren Collier at the scene, who opened my airways, I wouldn’t be here.”
Mr Drake thinks the case should have been adjourned because his victim impact statement, a document outlining the effect the crime has had on his life, was not given to magistrates.
Mr Drake, a married father of two children, from Harwood, said: “It’s a dreadful situation but I am going to move on. I have gone through life law abiding, grafting, and a crash like that can destroy it in seconds.
“Every day I wake up with pain in my back. My memory is worse. I can’t remember my kids growing up, I can’t remember getting married.
“I can remember being a kid, my memories are very vivid, but nothing from my teenage years. It’s upsetting.”