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Man jailed after motorcyclist loses leg

A 21-year-old man was yesterday jailed for five months for driving a car that was involved in a serious collision without insurance.

Cavin Francis was acquitted by a Supreme Court jury last week of causing grievous bodily harm to Shachkeil Burrows and Dakai Grant by driving a car without due care and attention on July 30 last year.

He pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial to driving without third-party insurance and without a valid driver’s licence.

Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves said during the sentencing yesterday that Francis “had a long history of misbehaviour”.

He said Francis was on probation for taking a motorcycle without consent and driving it in a dangerous manner when the crash happened.

Mr Justice Greaves added: “What makes it worse is that even after this most tragic incident, the defendant was not deterred.

“Because by January 2, having just been engaged in such a tragic incident, he was convicted again for driving in a manner dangerous while still disqualified.”

He added: “This is a defendant who shows by his actions that he is prepared to callously put the lives of people in danger by repeatedly driving around unlicensed and uninsured.”

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 that happened near Rural Hill on South Road, Paget.

Mr Justice Greaves said Francis was driving the car westbound when it collided with a bike ridden by Mr Grant and Mr Burrows, who were travelling east.

He added that Francis had shown a disregard for traffic laws, the orders of the courts and the welfare of other road users in Bermuda.

Francis told the court that “this has been a wake-up call” and that if he was released, he would not touch another bike or car.

Prosecutor Takiyah Simpson argued that Francis was solely to blame for the offence because he chose to drive knowing that he did not have a licence or insurance.

She told the court that given his history, a fine would not prevent Francis from committing further offences.

She called for a nine-month prison sentence “because he is not responding to any previous penalties he has received”.

Ms Simpson added that serious collisions were on the rise and she called for the sentence to be a deterrent.

She said the penalty should show “that this behaviour will not be tolerated or treated lightly”.

Defence lawyer Kamal Worrell acknowledged that his client “had a very serious and bad record when it comes to traffic offences”.

He added that the subsequent traffic offences were “most regrettable”. But he also stressed that the court should take Francis’s age into account.

Mr Worrell also argued that a prison sentence should be a last resort and if it could not be avoided, that it be a “short, sharp shock”.

“If he is put in prison, you know what the environment is going to be around him. The longer he is there, the worse off it is going to be for him.

Mr Justice Greaves sentenced Francis to five months in prison for having no insurance with no further penalty for driving without a valid licence.