Appeal against ban is dismissed
A WOMAN who was disqualified from driving for six months after colliding with a cyclist – leaving him needing surgery – has had an appeal against her ban dismissed.
On the morning of 24 September 2018, Elizabeth Silvester was driving her Renault Twingo out of the Checkers Express shop car park onto Grande Route de Faldouet.
As she left the car park, Mathew Jowitt, who was on his bicycle and travelling at around 20mph, collided with the side of her car. He sustained a fractured forearm, dislocated wrist and required surgery.
Mrs Silvester, who was aged 71 at the time, said that she did not see Mr Jowitt, despite looking both ways.
And on 11 February 2019, Magistrate Bridget Shaw decided that Mrs Silvester had failed to carry out a final right-hand-side check before she manoeuvred.
Prior to sentencing, the defendant warned against the potential impact that a driving ban would have on her family, particularly on her autistic grandson who she supports.
At the time, Advocate Darry Robinson, defending, said: ‘With reference to the grandchild, the autistic grandson, she has been caring and assisting him for some time and he requires routine. All children with autism, of course, as the court will be aware, need routine.
‘She provides that routine to him by picking him up, taking him to school, looking after him and it would not only create a great difficulty for my client if she were to lose her licence, but it would also create a great difficulty for the children, and, in particular, the autistic child.’
Despite this, she was fined £3,000 and disqualified from driving for six months. She must re-take her driving test if she intends to drive again.
The sentence was later appealed against with Advocate Robinson describing it as ‘manifestly excessive’.
However, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith later said that he could not fault the decision of the Magistrate.
‘In terms of the disqualification, the Magistrate clearly gave consideration to the impact of disqualification upon the appellant and her family, but was entitled to find that she could not avoid disqualification because the appellant was wholly at fault.’
Jurats Jane Ronge and Robert Christensen were also sitting.