Bike haters head to slammer

Courts have recently jailed two men whose appalling, vicious acts in a motor vehicle left their bike riding victims dead.

One case was in Queensland and the other was in NSW, but what was unique to both was that the offenders behaved with open and undisguised hostility towards people who were riding bikes.

These cases were nothing like a typical bingle on the road where driver error was responsible: they involved out and out criminal behaviour that even shocked the presiding Judges.

In the first case Nathan Craig MacDonald, 36, was sentenced to nine years behind bars for dangerous driving causing death while intoxicated.

He had slammed his ute into rider Stephen Small, 42, at Doonan on the Sunshine coast. Police found the ute 1.5km away with the bike still embedded in the front bumper.

MacDonald also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving while intoxicated over an incident that happened about half-an-hour before Stephen Small was killed, in which MacDonald chased another rider who had to hide behind a power pole to avoid being hit.

Judge John Robertson called the incident one of the worst cases of dangerous driving while intoxicated he had seen in 20 years.

MacDonald had 10 previous traffic convictions.

In the other case Ben Smith, 27, was sentenced to eight years jail for the manslaughter of rider Steve Jarvie, 61, on the Old Pacific Highway north of Sydney.

Jarvie came off his bike after he was clipped by Smith’s motorcycle in what the court found was a grossly negligent act.

Evidence was presented at the trial that Smith had boasted about hating cyclists, had been seen abusing riders, and had posted anti-cyclists material on Facebook, stating that riders would keep "copping 2 inch flybys”.

He told a witness after the crash that his motorcycle had hit the cyclist, who deserved it.

Smith had an extensive criminal history with 12 previous convictions, including, being caught twice for excessive speeding and high-range drink driving. He was on bail at the time of Mr Jarvie’s death after being charged with offensive behaviour, resisting arrest and destroying property.

And less than a month after killing Mr Jarvie, Smith was caught for mid-range drink driving, and on a later occasion was charged for driving under the influence of drugs.

Judge Mark Buscombe said Smith had showed no remorse for his victim.

These cases demonstrate that drivers who repeatedly demonstrate their unfitness to have a licence to drive on a public road just keep getting it handed back to them, time after time.

Tragic deaths such as those of Stephen Small and Steve Jarvie will continue to occur as long as authorities fail to face up to the fact that serial offenders that repeatedly put the lives of road users at risk have no right to be in charge of a motor vehicle.

The closure of these cases follows the sentencing of Bradley John Azzopardi in Geelong, Victoria last week for a deadly hit-run.