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Magistrate takes court action against friend over car crash

Legal action: Khamisi Tokunbo launches legal action over wrecked car (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A magistrate has launched a legal action against a friend he claimed was driving his BMW last year when it crashed, which led to both men being charged with refusal of a breath test.

Lawyers for Khamisi Tokunbo filed a Writ of Summons at the Supreme Court to ask for costs and damages from Allan Robinson.

Documents published on the Offshore Alert website showed a statement of claim in the civil case that said that Mr Tokunbo had owned a black BMW 3 series.

The writ said: “On 19th January 2019, the said car was involved in a single vehicle road traffic accident, at approximately 7.30pm in Paget Parish.

“At the time of the accident, and with the plaintiff’s permission, the car was being driven by the defendant with the plaintiff asleep and sitting in the passenger seat of the car.

“Prior to the accident, the defendant had been in attendance at a private residence socialising, where he had consumed an unknown quantity of alcoholic beverages.”

The statement of claim added: “On a date subsequent to the accident, the defendant – in conversation with the plaintiff – admitted that immediately prior to the accident, he was overcome with a strange feeling, as he drove past the Paraquet Restaurant in Paget Parish, and that earlier that day he had taken medication which may not have mixed well with the alcohol.

“Notwithstanding the strange feeling, and being aware that the plaintiff was asleep in the passenger seat of the car, the defendant continued to drive.

“Following the accident, in police interviews, the defendant admitted that he could not recall the accident as he had ’blacked out’.”

The writ said that Mr Robinson was charged with driving while impaired and failure to provide a breath sample for analysis.

It added: “On 29th May 2019, he appeared in the Magistrates’ Court and pled guilty to the offence of refusing to give a sample of blood to police in connection with the accident.”

The writ said that Mr Robinson was fined $1,000 and banned from driving for 18 months.

It added: “The damage to the car was caused by the defendant’s negligence.”

The writ listed 82 car parts and accessories under the “particulars of damage”.

It said that the BMW dealer’s estimate to repair the damage caused by the accident was more than $66,000.

The document added: “Given the state of the condition, accessories and level of maintenance of the car prior to the accident, the car was valued at approximately $50,000.”

It claimed that it was “more financially prudent and practical” for Mr Tokunbo to replace the car “with a similar model, at a reduced cost, rather than expend the unguaranteed estimated repairs”.

The writ said that Mr Tokunbo, who has been a magistrate since 2005, bought a similar vehicle last November at a cost of $40,000.

It added that he sought damages, interest, costs and any other relief deemed “just” by the court.

A charge against Mr Tokunbo of refusal to provide a breath test was dismissed last year.

He had denied the allegation and the case went to a Magistrates’ Court trial, which heard that police were called to the crash, near the public entrance to Elbow Beach.

Officers found Mr Tokunbo’s car “completely off the road” over an embankment.

The court heard that Mr Tokunbo was questioned by Colin Mill, a police constable, at the scene and said then that Mr Robinson had been behind the wheel.

Cayman Islands magistrate Valdis Foldats found that Mr Tokunbo’s detention after the crash was illegal because Pc Mill did not have “an honest subjective belief” that he had reasonable grounds to make the arrest.

He said that the police officer’s bias against Mr Tokunbo had tainted his investigation.

Larry Mussenden, the Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, said this week that the Crown had filed an appeal in connection with Mr Tokunbo’s Magistrates’ Court case and awaited a hearing date.

Mr Tokunbo and Mr Robinson declined to comment on the civil action.