Mussenden may appeal Richardson driving case
The Department of Public Prosecutions may appeal against a court’s decision to dismiss a charge of careless driving against a defence lawyer, it was revealed yesterday.
Larry Mussenden, Director of Public Prosecutions, said his department was examining the decision by magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo to throw out the charge brought against barrister Charles Richardson.
Mr Mussenden added: “In respect of the case of Mr Charles Richardson, in particular the charge of careless driving which was dismissed on an application of no case to answer, we respectfully disagree with the learned magistrate’s decision and we are considering filing an appeal.”
Mr Mussenden was speaking after the charge was dismissed in Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. A further charge of failure to provide a sample of breath for testing was dropped by the prosecution.
Mr Mussenden said: “In respect of the charge of refusal to provide a specimen of breath, the Crown offered no evidence based on some issues with witnesses and statements.”
Mr Richardson, 46, was accused of driving without due care and attention after his car hit a wall at Government House on North Shore Road at about 2am on November 26, 2016. Police said he refused a breath test.
A defendant will be treated as if they had taken the test and failed in most refusal cases.
Penalties include at least 12 months off the road and a fine in the region of $1,000.
Mr Richardson told the court at an earlier appearance that he had been “harassed because of who I am” and pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Mr Richardson, who represented himself in court, said that there were no grounds for the charges.
He said after Wednesday’s hearing: “I always took the view that another person probably would not have been pursued as diligently as I was.”
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