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Crash accused admits he was banned

A 21-year-old man accused of causing serious injuries to two men in a crash last year was banned from driving at the time, a court heard yesterday.

Cavin Francis admitted in the Supreme Court that he was “off the road” when the collision happened and also that he did not have a licence to drive a car. Prosecutor Takiyah Simpson said: “You were disqualified from driving in May that year.”

Mr Francis responded: “Yes, I guess so.”

But he added: “I have been to court for all my matters and I have never been told I was off the road. I didn’t receive anything about being off the road.”

The self-employed mechanic from Devonshire denies two counts of causing grievous bodily harm to Shachkeil Burrows and Dakai Grant by driving without due care and attention on South Road in Paget on July 30 last year.

The court heard that Mr Burrows had his right leg amputated above the knee and Mr Grant lost part of his right foot as a result of the crash.

The Crown alleges that Mr Francis was in the wrong lane when the crash happened and that his driving fell below the standard expected of a “reasonable and competent driver”.

Javone Rogers, for the prosecution, said CCTV footage of the incident showed that Mr Francis was “over the centre line only four or five seconds before the collision occurred”.

He added: “We say that when the defendant rounded that corner, he was still on the wrong side of the road.”

Mr Rogers also pointed out that the “lion’s share” of debris from the crash was in the eastbound lane.

He accused Mr Francis of making up evidence because he was “so desperate to distance himself from the collision”.

But defence lawyer Kamal Worrell argued that his client’s driving at the point of collision was the only important factor.

He added: “The accident did not happen on that bend. The question is what was his standard of driving at the time of the collision?”

Mr Worrell insisted that debris and tyre tracks at the scene, as well as the CCTV footage, showed that his client was in the correct lane. Mr Francis told the court yesterday that he was on his way to Somerset at the time to drop off two passengers.

He said he knew he was in the westbound lane because the car had swerved into the opposite lane on the bend before the crash happened and he had used his mirrors to correct the car’s position. Mr Francis added his passenger alerted him to an oncoming bike.

He said he “looked up” and “did the next thing I could possibly do, which was to swerve left”.

He added that he went to check on Mr Grant and Mr Burrows after the crash.

Mr Francis said: “On approaching the rider, I was lashed with profanity from the rider, which started an argument with my passenger.”

He added: “He was cursing so much I left him alone.”

Mr Francis said he also ran to the passenger, shouting at him to sit up if he was alive.

“He sat up and as I approached, I saw a pool of blood and a dislocated leg.”

Mr Francis said he ran back to the car to find his phone and realised one of his passengers was also injured. He said he shouted to a taxi driver who had pulled up to call an ambulance but she failed to do so.

Mr Francis said he asked Mr Grant to help him put Mr Burrows in the car so that he could take him to hospital but Mr Francis said Mr Grant was still locked in an argument with one of his passengers.

He said he drove to the hospital, helped his passenger inside and asked security staff to send an ambulance to the scene.

Mr Francis added that a woman in the emergency department later told him Mr Burrows had been brought in.

He said: “She then told me that police was on the way and that I should wait, which I did.”

Mr Francis denied leaving the scene of the crash because he knew he should not have been behind the wheel. He said: “I wouldn’t have gone to the hospital if that was the case.”

He conceded that “a little bit” of the car was in the eastbound lane just before the accident and that he had “no good reason” to be there, but denied careless driving.

The trial continues.