Law & Order

Paralytic with Alcohol with Police and Ferraris in the Cross-Hairs

Cyclist in Monaco Charged with Manslaughter for Colliding With a Pedestrian

Nothing could be more serious or sad than a death of a mother with four children. It happened when reportedly she rushed for a bus on a main Boulevard in Monaco and crossed the road too far away from a safe pedestrian crossing. She collided with a cyclist and hit her head badly. In less than two months after the accident she had died after falling into a coma. The cyclist was charged with manslaughter following a report completed after the cyclist was interviewed by an investigative officer immediately at the site of the accident.

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The case was full of problems from a legal point of view. There was no camera nor witness. The cyclist did not speak French so he had had to rely on the investigative officer as interpreter when he was interviewed. The most serious question was whether he was exceeding the speed limit. An insurance report had him going at 45kmh; he maintained he was doing about 20kmh. Lack of evidence and an investigative report that was not water-tight, in addition to there being no witnesses led the judge to dismiss the prosecution’s call for a one year suspended prison sentence and also to dismiss an eye-popping civil claim. One of the relatives who had made the civil claim against him was enraged by the cyclist’s alleged “ungentlemanly behaviour” – no condolences had been offered and the cyclist had even put in a counter-claim for repairs to his bicycle! Nevertheless, ungentlemanly behaviour, even if proven, is not a crime and the case was dismissed.

A Policeman is incapacitated for 15 days after a drunk knocks him senseless

You would think that slugging a policeman in the face when you are blind drunk would be a fast track to prison. Especially when you have just been expelled from a bar at about 2am for drunken behaviour and the police have been called. In fact the man feigned to take his lecture from the police calmly before suddenly lashing out and scoring a knock-out. The policeman ended up off work for 15 day’s recuperating. Fortunately for the man he has no prior record of problems with the law either in Monaco or France. He is polite in Court and professes to have no memory of the incident or even the evening. He acknowledges his act, faced with evidence shown on camera, and just says he must have been over-excited by the Grand Prix and got too drunk. He is potentially facing jail and a 4.000 euro civil claim.

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An eight day suspended sentence and a 2.000 euro civil award could be considered lenient and must have led him and his lawyer to celebrate his good fortune. The Court must have been influenced by the fact he was not a repeat offender.

Six Times over the legal limit and almost Unconscious at the Wheel

A tall young man approached a bartender in a famous pub in Fontvieille at about 2.30am. Obviously already drunk he asked for a strong alcoholic drink. The bar tender refused and watched the man lurch out of the bar, hardly able to stand or walk and then slump into Ferrari. The bar tender called the police afraid for passers-by if the man tried to drive. It was a busy night and even at that time there were lots of pedestrians enjoying the evening. The police arrived to see the young man almost unconscious at the wheel. They arrested him and tested his blood- alcohol. They were incredulous, he was above six times the legal limit. Had he actually driven off in that state there could have been seriously injured victims on the street in Fontvieille.

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Handcuffed in Court he admitted to having bar-hopped drinking wine and vodka-Red Bull’s with almost the same impact as cocaine. He was visiting relatives in Monaco who had lent him their Ferrari for the evening. The Prosecution called for a three month prison sentence and a 5.000 euro fine and the Court had to deal with the fact that he was a repeat offender. The young man was petrified of going to jail. The Judge decided on a three month suspended sentence and a 3.000 euro fine. The young man misunderstanding whimpered “please don’t send me to jail”. The Judge explained: do not offend again for 5 years and you will escape spending any time in jail. A sigh of relief from the young man!

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