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Crash driver loses conviction appeal

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A MAN who fled the scene of a late-night collision in St Saviour has lost a Royal Court appeal against his conviction.

Mohammed Ronnie Khan's damaged Range Rover

According to a judgment, shortly after midnight on 7 October 2018, Mohammed Ronnie Khan was driving his Range Rover Evoque near Maufant when he collided with a green Ford Fiesta.

When the police realised that Khan was not at the scene of the collision, officers went to his home address at 12.15am but he was not there.

At 12.55am, after checking the address again, they telephoned Khan, who, according to the judgment, ‘refused to tell the officers his whereabouts and appeared to be surprised that they wanted to speak to him’.

The judgment added that the driver of the Fiesta had thought that Khan and his female passenger ‘both looked intoxicated’.

It was only at 9.35am the following day that Khan was found at his home address and arrested.

The appellant was later charged with failing to stop and report an accident and entered a not guilty plea, although he was found guilty through a trial held in the Magistrate’s Court.

Khan later launched an appeal against his conviction – calling on the evidence of additional witnesses and a forensic medical examiner. He also questioned the competency of his defence lawyer, Advocate Chris Hillier.

‘He says that Advocate Hillier agreed evidence that he ought not to have agreed, failed to obtain adequate witness statements from potential defence witnesses, failed to adduce that evidence at trial or seek an adjournment so as to ensure that such evidence was heard by the Relief Magistrate,’ the judgment said.

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‘He argued that had the Relief Magistrate had the accurate forensic medical evidence, accurate agreed facts, and heard evidence from the three defence witnesses available then she may have reached a different verdict.’

However, Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae, presiding, said that the Royal Court would have to dismiss Khan’s appeal on the basis of his actions immediately after the collision.

The judgment said these included leaving his car before returning to it – possibly to retrieve his mobile phone – and walking a ‘long’ way from the crash site near Maufant to St Helier to meet his ex-partner. It adds that he then walked with his ex-partner to the home of his next-door neighbour before refusing to tell the police where he was when they telephoned him.

The judgment continued: ‘Having regard to the facts that are established on any view in this case, the members of the court consider that evidence that the appellant wishes to adduce, even if admitted, would not have led the Relief Magistrate to determine the case differently.’

It added that although Advocate Hillier had made some errors, these would not, in the court’s view, have led to a miscarriage of justice.

Jurats Jane Ronge and David Hughes were also sitting.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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