Tokunbo verdict expected on Friday

October 21st, 2019|0 Comments

A magistrate accused of refusal to take a breath test after a car crash is expected to hear the verdict in his case tomorrow.

Khamisi Tokunbo was charged after a collision on South Road, Paget, near the public entrance to Elbow Beach on January 19.

The 64-year-old denied refusal of a request for a breath sample without reasonable excuse and faced a Magistrates’ Court trial.

Charles Richardson, his lawyer, concluded his submissions yesterday.

The court earlier heard that police constable Colin Mill, who attended the scene of the crash, saw Mr Tokunbo emerge from the “back end” of his vehicle, which had gone off the road and over an embankment.

The police officer also said that another man, Allen Robinson, was outside the vehicle and had suffered facial injuries.

Mr Richardson said yesterday that Pc Mill told the court that he smelled alcohol on both men.

He pointed out that custody sergeant Olasunkanmi Smart Akinmola did not provide evidence that he smelled alcohol from Mr Tokunbo.

The defence lawyer added that Pc Mill gave evidence, which was contested, that “Mr Tokunbo was unsteady, or swaying on his feet”.

Mr Richardson suggested that the policeman’s request for Mr Tokunbo to “come away from the edge” of the road, which the court heard on body camera footage, was “pure theatrics for the camera”.

He added: “If you look at the video, he’s not swaying.”

The court heard earlier that John Jefferis, a taxi driver, had told Pc Mill that he had pulled Mr Robinson out of the passenger seat of the car, but did not say Mr Tokunbo had been at the wheel.

The court earlier heard that Mr Tokunbo, of Warwick, said at the scene that he was not the driver of the crashed car.

Mr Richardson submitted this week that unless an officer had “reasonable and probable grounds to believe that Mr Tokunbo was driving while impaired” a demand for a breath sample would be unlawful, which would mean Mr Tokunbo did not have to comply.

But Mark Diel, for the Crown, said yesterday that the “reasonable and probable grounds” test applied to the officer’s power of arrest, which in turn covered a demand for a breath sample.

He referred to a submission made by Mr Richardson that Pc Mill took the word of Mr Jefferis as opposed to that of a sitting magistrate.

Mr Diel said: “Mr Jefferis’s comments supported Pc Mill’s view that the defendant had to have been driving, given what he said and given the fact — his view or opinion — that Mr Robinson was incapable of driving.

“So it wasn’t ‘take him at his word’ but supported the other evidence that he had obtained.”

Mr Diel admitted that he had not seen Mr Tokunbo “swaying” in the body camera video.

But he pointed out that was based on about a minute of footage, and the court had heard that Pc Mill was at the scene for about 12 minutes before he made the arrest.

Valdis Foldats, the Cayman Islands magistrate in charge of the proceedings, thanked the lawyers for a “well fought case”.

He told the court that the “many issues” which arose meant it would take time for him to consider his verdict.

The trial continues.

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