The family of Rob Jefferies, the cyclist killed by a driver on the A351 in Wareham, Dorset on May 26 2011, have no grounds of appeal against the sentence handed to 18-year-old driver Lee Cahill.

British Cycling had sought advice from a QC on behalf of Rob’s brother Will to ascertain whether there were any grounds to appeal against the sentence handed to Cahill. The Dorset man admitted to causing death by careless driving and was handed a 12-month community order, disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay costs of £85 in January.

Cahill had passed his driving test in January 2011, and had received three points on his licence in April 2011 for speeding, just one month before the incident.

Cahill claimed to have been dazzled by the sun and did not see Jefferies on the road.

Having considered the case, Mark Wall QC concluded that there were no reasonable grounds for lodging an appeal against the sentence or a private prosecution against Cahill. Wall confirmed that the sentence handed out by Weymouth Magistrates Court was fully within current sentencing guidelines for causing death by careless driving.

Jefferies case has highlighted the sentencing handed to drivers causing death by careless driving. Cahill’ sentence has caused widespread outcry from the cycling community for its percieved leniency, despite being within sentencing guidelines.

British Cycling has already taken steps to try and start an official review in the sentencing laws regarding drivers causing injury or death to other road users through careless or dangerous driving.

In January, BC chief executive Ian Drake issued a statement saying: “Rob’s case is a tragic example of why we need policy makers to work with us on the issue of cycle safety. From the facts of the case it is clear that Rob was a totally innocent victim of a young and inexperienced driver who had already been in trouble with the police for his bad driving.”

Jefferies had worked for British Cycling as a volunteer co-ordinator, and was a well-known figure on the cycling scene.

Related links



British Cycling calls for sentencing review after Jefferies case



Driver who killed Jefferies given community order



Comment: No justice for Jefferies



Driver in Rob Jefferies fatal collision admits death by careless driving



Rob Jefferies killed in car collision

  • David Sumpton

    This is just horrible to read.

    Don’t like your new neighbor or your daughters boyfriend? Run them over. You are guaranteed NOT to spend any time in jail as long as you say that you did not see him. Steer crap.

    The British government is encouraging us to ride our bikes for what reason exactly? With crap like this why the heck should i continue to cycle when young idiots surrounded by two tons of steel get away with murder?

    As it stands i would be surprised IF ANY new planning would include the use of bikes on roads or whether new roads being built in Britain are taking bikes into consideration.

    I have cycled in many countries and the UK is not one of the ones i would prefer to ride in to be honest. People here are under the impression that bikes do not belong on roads with cars. They drive fast on these country lanes without even thinking about how fast they are going around some of these corners. I am glad i go pretty fast cos i know this has saved my end a few times when they had the slam on the brakes.

    I hate cars. I dont give a hoot if they hate us.

    By the way. I am waiting on a settlement from 2 years ago when i got hit from behind at a roundabout when i started from a standing position. The cars that hit you never see you or dont give you enough space to maneuver.

  • Gerry Gray

    Ken, you wouldn’t be needing your sunglasses anyway – the sun would be back over your right shoulder at that date, time and location! What you might justifiably need them for though would be to hide your red-hot stare from the idiot magistrate and the subsequent judge responsible for this outrageous and ongoing lack of justice.

  • Ken

    “Jon” has suggested above that this man might be persuaded to do a bike ride to raise awareness. I can’t see it happening, but if it does I hope it’s on another sunny day when I can arrange to be driving the route in my car, having “forgotten” to bring my sunglasses.

  • Bob

    Firstly I wonder what the requirements for appeal are, but as to the little scrotes excuse that the sun dazzled him! how come it didn’t dazzle everybody else including (if I’ve got the right case) the other driver who was in front of the said offender.

  • phil j

    Whats the betting that he wouldnt have drove into the back of a tractor or a police car and used the same excuse?
    If i didnt love cycling so much i,d quit riding today because it is like playing russion roulette every time you go out . and what fitness fanatic wants to spend the rest of their lives crippled or paralysed. i dont for certain.
    You never get seriously injured in a gym or swimming baths, or even running on pavements do you

  • Helen

    Exactly 10 years ago I missed being run over by a fraction of a second when a driver dazzled by the sun hit me side-on at a roundabout. “Luckily” he “only” hit my back wheel and the subsequent broken leg meant I’ve been unable to run since that day. What a life-changer.

  • Nick

    Perhaps Cahill and every other stupid motorist would like to ride the bike whilst others drive like cnuts? As for the British judicial system, the law is an ass, it needs to change, it does nothing to help promote responsible law abiding individuals.

  • Opus the Poet

    This is not just a UK phenomena, it happens in the US as well, with ridiculous sentences handed down in the freak case that LEO actually prosecute the driver. Basically in the US if you are sober, licensed and remain at the scene you will not be prosecuted.

  • Crydda

    This case is yet another which highlights that fact that the law regarding drivers, particularly those who cause death while driving, needs to be reviewed urgently.
    Times, social attitudes and road use changes and the law should take account of this. At present, our driving laws seem stuck in the 1970s.

  • Justin

    Society needs to accept that driving a car is a privilege not a right.

  • Jon

    Perhaps it is worth approaching Mr Cahiil to see if he would like to do anything to make amends.

    Despite the lenient sentence he may be wracked with guilt and remorse and it would be good for the cycling community and for his own conscience for him to try to do something to make amends. For example, giving talks to young people or people convicted of driving offences with the aim of getting them to take road safety seriously. Given the driving ban he might also consider a bike ride to raise awareness.

    I don’t know all the circumstances but from what I’ve read he appears to be an inattentive driver rather than the hate filled rage monkeys that try to intimidate cyclists at every opportunity.

  • katie

    So Basically the Bitish judiciary system confirms what we all suspected in that cyclists life is not important , WONDERFUL !!!