Layne v R

CourtFederal Supreme Court (West Indies)
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No. 7 of 1959
JudgeHallinan, C.J.
Judgment Date02 Nov 1959
JurisdictionCaribbean States

Federal Supreme Court

Hallinan, C.J., Lewis, J.A.; Marnan, J.A.

Criminal Appeal No. 7 of 1959


Mr. Hutson A. Williams for the appellant.

Mr. C.A. Burton, Q.C., for the respondent.

Criminal law - Dangerous driving — Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, 1937.

Hallinan, C.J.

Upon this conviction the appellant was fined £10 to be paid in seven days or three months hard labour and his licence was suspended for six months. The incident out of which the case arose occurred at the junction of Arthur Seat Road and Chancery Road. The appellant was the driver of a large commercial vehicle for the transportation of oil and he reversed his vehicle from the Arthur Seat Road into Chancery Road. The vehicle was some 7 ft. wide and the road, which was a very minor country road, was about 13 ft. wide. The mirror on the lorry did not give him a clear view of what was behind the lorry when he was reversing it. While reversing, he came into collision with a man called Charles Gibson who was driving a mule cart. The evidence for the Crown, given by a child of nine, was that the lorry hit the left side of the cart and turned it over. And the Crown's evidence also established that the man Gibson, was found under the wheel of the lorry and thereby sustained injuries from which he died.


Counsel for the appellant has argued two grounds of appeal. The first ground he has submitted is that the judge had failed to direct the jury on an important consideration of fact, namely he did not direct them properly as to the state of traffic that might be expected on the Chancery Road at that time.


The learned trial judge, however, did read out to the jury the provisions of section 45 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, 1937, No.6 sub-section (1) and the Act mentions this as a matter to be considered in deciding whether the offence of dangerous driving has been committed or not. The judge having drawn the jury's attention to this consideration when deciding as to the degree of negligence, this court does not consider that there has been any failure of the judge properly to direct the jury in this matter.


The other ground of this appeal against conviction was that it was unreasonable, having regard to the evidence. Having regard to the evidence of the Police Sergeant, Rice, as to the lack of visibility for a driver backing such vehicle; having...

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