Four charges

PSV driver facing up to 10 years in jail for furious driving

The driver of the ZR van, which overturned along Nursery Drive, The City on Tuesday injuring 21 people, including close to a dozen school children, today appeared in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court on four charges.

Matthew Ricardo Daniel, 40, of Licorish Village, My Lords Hill, St Michael is accused of furious driving, dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention and driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.

Driver of ZR 125 Matthew Ricardo Daniel.
Driver of ZR 125 Matthew Ricardo Daniel.

Daniel was not required to plead before Magistrate Graveney Bannister. However, all four matters were set down for a preliminary hearing from September 26 to 28 this year.

Based on the seriousness of the allegations, Acting Station Sergeant Peter Barrow argued for the denial of bail. He pointed out that Daniel had antecedents and that, if convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine on the driving furious offence.

“There is a need to protect the society and general travelling public” the prosecutor stated.

He added that “one of the aggravating circumstances as it relates to these allegations, is that school children were traveling in the vehicle and a number of these persons were seriously injured . . . one of them still hospitalized and in a serious condition.”

The lawman also submitted that “it is a matter of public interest and at this stage tensions are very high”.

He added: “Parents are angry. The prosecution is of the opinion that we need to protect this accused man and there needs to be a cooling-off period.”

Investigations also need to be completed, Barrow went on, and if Daniel were to be granted bail, he said he feared that further allegations would arise.

In her response, Daniel’s attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens contended that “there must be some evidentiary basis” for the prosecutor’s submissions. She added that her client’s charges had not arisen “out of gang warfare” but out of a traffic accident.

“So on what basis would further allegations arise?” she queried.

In relation to the investigations which needed to be carried out, Mitchell-Gittens asked whether “(Daniel’s) presence outside of Dodds Prison would prevent the Royal Barbados Police Force from carrying out their investigations”.

“So persons can only be interviewed if Daniels is in prison? If people are still being questioned in December this year, then is he to be held to his detriment?” the defence lawyer asked.

“Where is the evidence that he will interfere with someone? Has he or his family members called up any of the witnesses?”

Mitchell-Gittens contended that the prosecution “cannot bring four charges and then say investigations need to continue and use it as a basis to deny someone their liberty”.

She also felt that it was unreasonable to suggest that her client would “get up and run” simply because he faces the possibility of a 10-year maximum jail term if convicted.

“He is no more likely to run than anyone else charged with dangerous driving,” the attorney said, especially since the usual penalty for a conviction for death by dangerous driving was a suspended sentence and a fine.

“The problems in the transport system did not start with Matthew Daniel and they will not end with him,” Mitchell-Gittens contended.

She also questioned what the prosecutor meant when he said parents were angry.

“ . . . And they should be if their child was injured; but are they going to act on it?” the attorney asked.

The defence attorney went on to explain that Daniel was a father of two and a Barbadian national with a fixed place of abode and strong family ties.

“It is a serious offence but not so serious that Parliament has fettered your discretion to grant bail,” she submitted, “and not so serious that persons aren’t granted bail as a matter of course in these courts”.

Magistrate Bannister remanded Daniel until July 9 when he will return to the Traffic Court.

8 Responses to Four charges

  1. Keera Harding
    Keera Harding June 12, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Y is everyone so hard on this man that girl is 14 yes he is the adult but she is also old enough to no what he was doing was wrong and she shud of gotten out. She has jus as much to blame for what happen to her and I no she will study that and blame herself

    Reply
    • Maria Leclair
      Maria Leclair June 12, 2015 at 2:57 am

      She was not in the vehicle.

      Reply
    • Poetry Dancer
      Poetry Dancer June 12, 2015 at 3:40 am

      A 14 year old will follow their friends, most do. Very few will not. It is peer pressure. Most kids that age are more concerned with what their friends think of them, following the crowd than doing the “right” or sensible thing, no matter what they have been taught at home. It’s the rare one who will make the right choice especially when their good friends are all going along.

      Reply
    • Poetry Dancer
      Poetry Dancer June 12, 2015 at 3:40 am

      A 14 year old will follow their friends, most do. Very few will not. It is peer pressure. Most kids that age are more concerned with what their friends think of them, following the crowd than doing the “right” or sensible thing, no matter what they have been taught at home. It’s the rare one who will make the right choice especially when their good friends are all going along.

      Reply
    • Maria Leclair
      Maria Leclair June 12, 2015 at 4:17 am

      The girl nor any of the other children can be held responsible for the bad choices the driver made while operating the vehicle. He is an adult and is therefore responsible for his own actions. Regardless to what the kids were doing, it should have no bearing as to the drivers dangerous behaviour behind the wheel. As far as I know no one held a gun to his head, his actions were of his own free will. Unfortunately he alone does not face the consequence, the young girl now has to suffer for something which is no fault of hers. Had he operated his vehicle with due care and attention there wouldn’t be a child now suffering.

      Reply
  2. jrsmith June 12, 2015 at 6:17 am

    I blame this problem on the politicians, these are people voted for by bajans to be the management and protectorate of our of our people and island.
    The lawlessness of the drivers from and by these fare paying vehicles, has grown over the years and really nothing much has been lawfully done to , control they behaviour.
    I am very pleased at last , someone with the balls is showing concern for our bajan travelling public.
    The same concern should now be extended to cover all road vehicles, which I feel is a much bigger issue , and is out of control, make it frightening to drive on Barbados roads.
    But hoorah , something is been done .

    Reply
  3. Randy June 12, 2015 at 7:25 am

    The only reason he got charge is all the hype. The police was quick to charge him and Look how long they took to charge one of their own Yes the officer who kill Mr Knight and wound his son.

    Barbados is pure bs no doubt.

    Accidents happen and everyday i know they will

    some of hide behind internet and comment

    I am sure if night catch wunna out late and wunna see A ZR van wunny is the first to stop them

    I am not say all the ZR drivers out there are bad drivers and I am not saying all them are good ones either. The government just need to put something in place that would see the public service operators strive in a better condition

    Reply
  4. Randy June 12, 2015 at 7:27 am

    The only reason he got charge is all the hype. The police was quick to charge him and Look how long they took to charge one of their own Yes the officer who kill Mr Knight and wound his son.

    Barbados is pure bs no doubt.

    Accidents happen and everyday i know they will

    some of hide behind internet and comment

    I am sure if night catch wunna out late and wunna see A ZR van wunna will be the first to stop them

    I am not say all the ZR drivers out there are bad drivers and I am not saying all them are good ones either. The government just need to put something in place that would see the public service operators strive in a better condition

    Reply

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