Log In

Reset Password

Taxi driver loses driving ban appeal

A taxi driver who struck a motorcyclist while driving, in a collision in Hamilton, has lost an appeal against a driving ban.

Terry Darrell Flood pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court in May to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Rozetta Augustus by driving his taxi without due care and attention on Church Street in an incident last November.

Prosecutors had alleged that the complainant was stationary, waiting for a green light at the junction of Church Street and Parliament Street, when she was struck from behind by Flood, who was driving a taxi.

The impact resulted in Ms Augustus suffering a fractured wrist, along with facial and dental injuries.

While Flood admitted the offence, he asked through counsel not to be disqualified from driving. His counsel argued he had an otherwise clean driving record and that visibility at the time of the crash was poor.

However, the magistrate ruled that the mitigating factors did not cross the threshold of “special reasons”, finding that Flood would be subject to a mandatory disqualification from driving for a period of two years.

Mr Flood subsequently launched an appeal against that element of the sentence, arguing that the “carelessness” leading to the crash involved only “momentary inattention” and that the injuries caused were at the lower end of the spectrum.

While defence lawyer Peter Sanderson, representing Flood, argued to the Supreme Court that the poor visibility caused by rain, darkness and inadequate lighting could amount to special reasons, Chief Justice Ian Kawaley found that the magistrate had been correct to find the poor visibility imposed a higher standard of care on the appellant.

And, despite arguments by Mr Sanderson, Crown counsel Kenlyn Swan argued that an offence being on a lower end of a spectrum cannot amount to special circumstances.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.