Carpenter who caused death of Barrouallie man by reckless driving sent to prison
From the Courts, News
July 25, 2023
Carpenter who caused death of Barrouallie man by reckless driving sent to prison

A 57 year old carpenter was sentenced to one year and eight months imprisonment for causing the death of a pedestrian in 2019.

David Williams, pleaded guilty to the charge of causing death by reckless driving when he appeared at High Court #2 before Justice Rickie Burnett on Friday, July 21.

He was charged that on July 31, 2019, being the driver of motor vehicle PN643 he caused the death of Gregory Charles of Barrouallie by driving recklessly.

Williams was sentenced to one year and eight months in jail for the offence.

According to the facts presented by the judge, on July 31, 2019 at around 10:45 p.m, Williams was driving a green escudo Suzuki jeep along the Keartons public road travelling towards Chateaubelair to attend a party; there were three passengers in the vehicle.

A large crowd had gathered on the Keartons public road as they were attending a function at the Keartons Hard Court.

The vehicle was travelling at a fast pace and as Williams approached the crowd, he honked the vehicle’s horn. Patrons moved out of the road and Williams continued along the way at the same pace. Upon reaching the vicinity of Indian Shop, Charles was crossing the road, but when he was about two feet from clearing the road, Williams struck him with the jeep.

The impact lifted Charles into the air and he fell back onto the bonnet of the vehicle. Charles was further pushed and dragged about 154 feet from the point of impact. Williams applied the brakes, but the vehicle continued advancing before it eventually came to a stop on to the bank just before the Pentecostal Church. The area was lit by light poles.

The headlights of the vehicle were on at the point of impact and Charles was pronounced dead.

The vehicle was damaged and William was detained. He claimed that when he got to the shop he realised that the vehicle had struck someone when one person alerted him, and when he saw the man on the bonnet he panicked. He was arrested on Friday, August 16, 2019.

The court held that the consequence of the offence was that a life was lost, and the seriousness of the offence was placed at level three as Williams was driving above the speed limit.

Justice Burnett in determining the sentence, started at a custodial sentence of two years and five months.

Aggravating of the offence was that the defendant endangered more than one person by refusing to slow down and ensure everyone’s safety. There were no mitigating factors, therefore when the aggravating factors were weighed against the mitigating factors, the aggravating weighed heavier, which resulted in the sentence being increased by one year.

When the aggravating factors of the offender were considered, none was found. However, mitigating of Williams was that he expressed remorse for the offence, and he had a good driving record prior to the incident. The mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating and his sentence was therefore reduced by one year.

The judge then considered that Williams had pled guilty, and the sentence was reduced by one-third. This brought the final sentence to one year and eight months.

Counsel Carl Williams represented the defendant, while counsel Maria Jackson-Richards appeared for the crown.