'Absolutely unbelievable' - friend of killed cyclist condemns driver's three-year driving ban (From Enfield Independent)
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Family and friends of Enfield cyclist Frank Mugisha killed in Tottenham condemn driver Jonathan Baird's three-year driving ban
The three-year driving ban handed to a motorist involved in a crash that killed a cyclist has been condemned as a "slap on the wrist".
Father-of-four Frank Mugisha, 41, from Hoe Lane in Enfield Wash, died six days after he was struck by 63-year-old driver Jonathan Baird in Great Cambridge Road at the junction with White Hart Lane in Tottenham on March 27.
Baird, of Margaret Avenue in Waltham Forest, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was banned from driving for three years.
While at Wood Green Crown Court last month, he also received a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, was ordered to pay £500 in costs and undergo 150 hours of unpaid work.
However, the victim's friend Isaac Adams, from Enfield Lock, said Mr Mugisha’s family are considering appealing against the sentence, which he believes does not fit the serious nature of the crime.
He said: “I really think it is an insufficient sentence. I mean, you can’t take a life and get a three-year driving ban.
“When you look at what the accident has cost his kids – they have been left without a father for good. This person has taken away a life from us.
“It is absolutely unbelievable. Someone with that kind of past should be banned for life.”
Baird will need to pass an extended driving test in three years time if he is allowed back on the roads.
However, Mr Adams said the driver should never be reunited with his driving licence.
He said: “Last year it was Frank, in three years it could be someone else – it is something that could be avoidable. What is £500? It is probably something he was making in a week.
“We were hoping for a sentence within reason for the tragedy that he caused. That’s what justice is about. I am really appalled.
“There is no justice that could bring back Frank’s life but this sentence is a slap on the wrist – it doesn’t fit the crime.”
He plans to speak to Mr Mugisha's wife-of-ten years, Jennifer, who attended Baird's court hearings, over the coming days to discuss whether an appeal against the driver is possible.
Mr Mugisha, who was originally from Uganda, was a sports coach at the Rhino Athletics Club in Enfield.
More than 300 people paid their respects to him at Mary Mother of God Catholic Church in Ponders End before he was repatriated to Uganda.