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ZR driver warned

Magistrate ready to proceed with stalled case

COURT TODAY BLOCKThe next time the case against ZR van driver Matthew Ricardo Daniel comes up for hearing, the court will be proceeding with the matter.

Magistrate Graveney Bannister made this clear Thursday when Daniel of Licorish Village, My Lords Hill, St Michael appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today.

Daniel made national headlines last year when a schoolgirl lost her arm whilst travelling as a passenger in a route taxi driven by him.

The vehicle overturned at John Beckles Drive, St Michael on June 9 last year.

Daniel was subsequently charged with willful misconduct causing bodily harm to Zakiyah Defreitas; driving in a manner dangerous to the public; driving without due care and attention and driving the vehicle without reasonable consideration for other road users, all on that same date.

Originally, the charges against the route taxi driver were hybrid, meaning they could be heard by either the High Court or Magistrates Court. Police opted to treat the case as a High Court matter and the preliminary inquiry took place in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court before Bannister who later committed the case to High Court in January this year.

Daniel would not have been required to plead to the indictable offence at the time.

However, after review by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the case was returned to the magistrate to be heard summarily.

When the matter came up again today in the Traffic Court, Bannister warned Daniel that it was the final adjournment. Saying he did not want “to drag out the matter”, the magistrate reminded the accused that there had been several adjournments since January this year.

Daniel’s attorney, Angella Mitchell-Gittens, was not present in court today. Appearing on her behalf, Naomi Lynton apologized for Mitchell-Gittens’ absence. She explained that her colleague was in another court with a matter which had taken longer than anticipated.

The case will come up again on July 4, when Daniel is expected to plead to the offences.

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