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Good Behaviour and disqualification for Dangerous Driving causing GBH and Negligent Driving Causing Grievous Bodily Harm

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Successful Outcome for Dangerous Driving and Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm

Our solicitor, Stephanie McClelland, represented a lady at Blacktown Local Court in relation to the following charge:

  • Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm pursuant to section 117(2) of the Road Transport Act 2013
  • Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm pursuant to section 117(1)(b) of the Road Transport Act 2013.

The case involved our client travelling eastbound on an Avenue in Schofields with her mother who was seated in the rear nearside passenger seat. At this time, the victim, her child, and her mother whom was the driver of their vehicle, were travelling south bound on a perpendicular avenue. On approaching the intersection our client was observed proceeding through the intersection, and into the path of the victim who was travelling under the 50km/hr speed limit, at 40km/hr. Our client was travelling at approximately 50km/hr. An impact occured between the two vehicles, causing airbags to deploy in both vehicles, and the victim’s vehicle to spin 18 degrees to face north in the southbound lanes. Our client’s vehicle continued onto the grass kerb on the south-eastern kerb, where it collided heavily with a light pole and stone fence, coming to rest at this position.

Police, and NSW ambulance and fire and rescue services attended the scene. Our client returned a negative blood test reading, and all parties were transported to hospital. The victim sustained several severe injuries, our client’s mother suffered multiple rib fractures and underwent an emergency operation, several minor procedures and two admissions to the intensive care unit, and our client was discharged with a knee brace, crutches, and prescribed pain relief. Our client was escorted into police custody where she participated in an electronically recorded interview, stating that she slowed down before the stop line, stopped for 4-5 seconds, and looked both ways before entering the intersection onto the Avenue. She stated that she saw the victim’s vehicle approximately 100 metres prior to the intersection. Police also obtained two independent witness statements, both of which indicated that our client’s vehicle did not stop at the stop sign/stop line and proceeded without due care. Police submissions had initially attempted to  determined the driving of our client as inherently negligent, and the injuries sustained as amounting to grievous bodily harm.

Our principal solicitor Cynthia Bachour-Choucair sent representations to the police, where they responded in agreeing to drop the dangerous driving causing GBH charge, but would not agree to drop the lesser charge of negligent driving causing GBH.

The Court’s Decision

On sentence, Ms McClelland made submissions in relation to our client’s otherwise good character, and provided an explanation for our clients action on the subject date, including confirming that she believed that she had done all that was expected of her when stopping at, and entering the intersection that day. Submissions were made regarding our client’s work as a full-time carer, her financial situation, strong community ties, and diagnosis with severe depression and anxiety as a result of the incident. Our client also submitted a guilty plea, an apology letter, multiple character references and completed the Traffic Offenders Rehabilitation Program upon our advice.

Our client was disqualified for a period of 18 months pursuant to 206B of the Road Transport Act 2013. She was also directed to enter a Community Correction Order (CCO) to be of goods behaviour for a period of 12 months pursuant to section 8 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This was a successful outcome provided that the offence was mid-level in objective seriousness.

This case demonstrates the importance of outstanding representation. Our solicitor ensured the case was prepared and presented thoroughly considering all relevant circumstances that would favour our client.

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