Unfortunate summing up
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• The owner of a truck which lost a wheel on the M53 in Cheshire, causing the death of a woman motorist, was not a "cowboy operator", said an Appeal Court judge.
Mr Justice Collins said the judge who presided over the trial of David Geraint Roberts for causing death by dangerous driving by procurement had unfortunately introduced the concept of negligence in his summing-up.
The jury must have been left with the impression that Roberts had run a sloppy operation, said
the judge, who was giving the court's reasons for clearing Roberts and his driver, Graham George.
Roberts. of Llanarmon Yr Al, Mold, and George, of St. Marys Road, Dodleston, Chester, who was also convicted (4 causing death by dangerous driving, had their (xmvictions quashed and sentences set aside.
Mr Justice Collins said Judge Edwards had not applied the law relating to road traffic legislation to the facts of the case. His directions implied that George had been negligent because he failed to Gheck his eight-wheel tipper on the morning of the accident.
But the driver checked the vehicle once a week and had carried out such an inspection the previous afternoon, said the judge. Such a system was wholly reasonable and sensible, he added, deciding that the convictions were unsafe.
Roberts was awarded his legal costs out of public funds.