Judge clears man of causing death by dangerous driving


OBSERVER: A man has been cleared of a death by dangerous driving charge relating to an incident in Bolans in 2018.

Yesterday, High Court judge Ann-Marie Smith upheld a ‘no case’ submission made by lawyer Andrew O’Kola on behalf of his client Dexter Primo.

It was alleged that on 12 July 2018, Primo mowed down Stephen ‘Skiddy’ Baptiste of Bolans.

Primo was said to be heading south along Bolans main road, near the police station, when his vehicle reportedly collided with Baptiste.

Primo, having denied killing the man by driving in a dangerous manner, saw the start of his trial on January 25 where the prosecution called several witnesses.

But after the prosecution closed their case on January 31, defence counsel decided to make a ‘no case’ submission to which the prosecution got a chance to rebut.

In the end, Justice Ann-Marie Smith declared that there was not enough evidence to prove that the man’s driving fell below the minimum standard expected of a competent and careful driver.

That included: evidence of speeding, evidence of an impairment, evidence that he was distracted and so on.

In fact, the defence argued that the demise of the complainant may have been due to poor lighting in the area, the fact that the deceased was dressed in dark clothing, or even the fact that the deceased’s vision was impaired.

Responding to the decision, O’Kola said, “We are delighted that the court found it fit and proper, … having assessed the totality of the evidence, that the evidence was insufficient for the defendant to lead a defence against the charge as alleged and accepted the defence submission that there was no case to answer.

“Justice invariably requires courts to be brave and, in this regard, given the facts, this judgment is welcomed.”

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