This defendant faced an Indictment in a very sad case involving death by careless driving involving a young child. It was alleged that the defendant carelessly drove onto a shared driveway and in the process ran over the child causing the death. The defendant denied the allegations, his defence being that although he accepted responsibility for the incident at no point had he driven carelessly. At the time of the incident the child was playing on a shared driveway and was laying down. The defendant could therefore not have seen the child at the time he entered the driveway.
A vehicle accident construction expert was instructed who was in a position to re-construct the tragic accident and also provide his expertise on the prosecution’s expert report.
A trial took place but the Jury could not reach a verdict. The prosecution confirmed that they wished to proceed to a re-trial.
A re-trial took place within weeks of the first trial. The same Judge dealt with the trial. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Due to a number of concerns about how the first trial was conducted, we immediately lodged an appeal against both the conviction and the sentence. Most unusually, the Court of Appeal granted us leave to appeal against sentence and conviction and the Appeal itself was expedited. At the Appeal Hearing itself, the Appeal Judges took a very short time to quash the conviction based on the unfair summing up in this case. The Judges ordered a re-trial at a different Court and granted the defendant bail.
A third trial then took place at which time the Jury unanimously acquitted the Defendant.
This was a very sad and tragic case for all involved. So far as our client was concerned, he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and could not continue his employment. Throughout the whole of the case, the expert team put together by Lawtons robustly and consistently fought for the right outcome.
Once again, the case goes to illustrate the importance of ensuring that an expert team of lawyers and professionals are involved throughout to ensure that the right and just result is achieved.