State of driving horrendous, says judge
A Supreme Court judge has delivered a withering assessment of driving in Bermuda.
Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe described driving standards on the island as “horrendous” as he sentenced a teenager who stole a motorbike and led police on a high-speed chase across Warwick and Southampton.
“Offences like this are all too prevalent,” Mr Justice Wolffe said. “The state of riding and driving in Bermuda is horrendous.
“Daily the lives of pedestrians and other road users are put in jeopardy by the senseless riding and driving of others.
“A strong message must be sent out that such behaviour must stop.”
The island’s senior magistrate told 20-year-old Calvin Francis that he was “between two minds” of whether to send him to prison for the offence of aggravated vehicle taking or imposing a community based sentence.
In deciding on a three-year probation order with strict conditions, Mr Justice Wolffe said: “It is up to you; whether you want to find yourself in Dubai or France fixing luxury cars or wearing orange in Westgate.
“Only you can change the direction you are going. If you breach any of the conditions you will find yourself dressed in orange.
“Seek the help that you desire and that you need.”
Earlier, the court had heard that Francis had stolen a motorbike and led police on a dangerous pursuit on June 23, last year after officers had attempted to stop him as he drove along Middle Road in Paget.
The teenager, who had a pillion passenger, tried to evade capture by swerving past motorists and speeding across junctions without stopping. He was arrested soon after, abandoning the stolen motorcycle near Horseshoe Road in Southampton. When interviewed by police, Francis admitted taking the bike without the consent of the owner, claiming he had come across the vehicle on the Railway Trail.
Yesterday he told the Supreme Court: “I got scared and I just continued running. I panicked.”
Mr Justice Wolffe pressed him further saying: “Why are you content to be just another statistic?, to which Francis replied “it was not intentional”.
“I understand what I did was wrong,” the teenager added. “I am glad that no one was hurt in the process.”
Dunkley questions ‘extra’ Civil Service job
UK MP calls for action over Partnership Act
Family crucial to success of children
Passionate about benefits of hemp
St George’s Club members call for help
Police officer cleared of threatening man
Uncle Bob’s parting shot is value for money
Brown delivers broadside at Health Council
Warning over mobile phone charges
Premier targeted by fake news website
MarketPlace acts to stop carts straying
OBA had chance to discuss race when in power
Hunt for new Cabinet Secretary
Hotel evacuated after water pipe bursts
Marathon celebration for 70th birthday
Bermuda pays tribute to Regis
Take Our Poll