Request callback

    Get A Free Case EvaluationHave a legal issue?

    Submit your inquiry to speak to a Senior Lawyer

      Not Guilty of Negligent Driving Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm

      Our client is a tradesman who was charged with negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. His primary mode of transportation is a work ute.

      Police alleged that our client was reversing their ute in the carpark of a shopping centre in the Northern Beaches.

      A 71-year-old lady was walking in the carpark to the rear left of our client’s vehicle. The prosecution case was that our client had been negligent in not seeing the lady and collided with her.

      The incident was captured on CCTV footage.  

      Police and ambulance were called and the lady was transported to the Hospital to treat her injuries being laceration on her eyebrow, finger pain and swelling.

      The case was originally heard at Manly Local Court where our client had another lawyer and barrister appear for him. He was found guilty of the offence and sentenced to a lengthy disqualification period.

      Not happy with this outcome, he came to us after reading about some of our recent similar cases.

      We advised him that he would have prospects of success on the appeal. Our strategy would be to argue the appeal on three basis.

      Firstly, we would submit that his driving was not negligent. The CCTV footage showed our client had reversed slowly. His view was also somewhat obstructed by other vehicles. Further, it appeared that the lady was not paying attention to where she was going and had arguably collided with the ute herself, rather than our client hitting her.

      Secondly, there was an argument that the injuries to the lady were not grievous bodily harm. This was due to the leading case on grievous bodily harm – R v Swann (2016) – setting out that the definition of grievous bodily harm required the prosecution to prove “really serious harm”.

      Medical records and expert evidence suggested that none of the injuries sustained by the lady would be considered permanent injuries. There was also no explanation for why the injuries would be classed as “really serious”, as opposed to “serious”. The prosecution had also not obtained any fresh medical evidence despite the hearing occurring over a year and half after the initial medical expert statements were provided.

      Finally, in the event that the conviction appeal was not successful, we had prepared a severity appeal to ask for the court to impose a non-conviction pursuant to Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This would mean that our client would not have a criminal record nor face any disqualification.

      The Conviction Appeal proceeded at Sydney District Court where one of our senior lawyers appeared.

      We tendered written submissions addressing why our client was not negligent and why the injuries were not grievous bodily harm. After further lengthy oral submissions by both us and the prosecution, the presiding judge found that the Magistrate had erred and that our client had not been negligent, nor were the injuries grievous bodily harm.

      As such he was found not guilty and the charge of negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm was dismissed.

      Both the client and his family were extremely happy with the outcome as he is able to continue driving and has no criminal record.

      Comments are closed.

      Ask a question now!