NATION

Appeal for driver’s 22-month sentence dismissed

  The Lautoka High Court has heard there would be no mercy shown for dangerous drivers who ignored the law. “If drivers display wanton disregard to the laws and create
01 Aug 2017 13:54
Appeal for driver’s 22-month sentence dismissed
court

 

The Lautoka High Court has heard there would be no mercy shown for dangerous drivers who ignored the law.

“If drivers display wanton disregard to the laws and create dangerous situations, the court will not show any mercy,” said Judge Justice Sunil Sharma.

Justice Sharma gave the warning after dismissing an appeal against a sentence of a driver who was convicted for aggravated dangerous driving and occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Convicted Dharmesh Reddy was also found guilty for one count of driving a vehicle with excess alcohol concentration present in the blood.

Reddy was sentenced to the 22-month term and was disqualified from driving for two years.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of $400.

The appeal prepared by Reddy’s counsel Iqbal Khan was based on four grounds.

Mr Khan submitted that the Magistrate erred in law and fact in the 22-month imprisonment.

Mr Khan said the Magistrate failed to consider the precedents in past cases and took irrelevant matters into consideration.

In addition, he submitted that the Magistrate did not give adequate consideration to the provisions of the Sentencing and Penalties Decree 2009.

Mr Khan said nobody had died in the accident and that the sentencing was excessive.

He said the broken leg of a victim and the shoulder injury of another victim was not serious.

However, while agreeing that no one died in the accident, Justice Sharma in his summary of facts depicted a dreadful act of drunken driving during the early hours of the morning on the Nadi Back Road in 2013.

He said at this time not only the victims, but their children walking alongside them were affected as well.

He said Reddy had a substantial level of alcohol in his blood about 83 per cent clearly showing utter disregard for other road users.

From the impact both the pedestrians were thrown into a drain from the main road.

Moreover, from the facts of the case Justice Sharma said there were some obvious aggravating factors which included the lights of the vehicle were turned off, two pedestrians were injured and the children were searching for their parents after the accident.

Also Justice Sharma said that the Magistrate had taken into account the remorse of the accused despite him pleading not guilty earlier.

Therefore, Justice Sharma said he was in the view that the sentence imposed by the Magistrate was reflecting the overall criminality involved.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

 

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