Driver bailed in hit-and-run

The South African national arrested in connection with the fatal accident last weekend was granted conditional bail when he appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Ronald Edward Addinall, 24, was charged with driving dangerously having regard to the manner of driving, thereby causing the death of David Ian Ross, 26.

The Crown’s case, set out by Crown Counsel Scott Wilson, is that Mr Ross was knocked down by a truck driven by Addinall around 1.45am on 5 November.

The incident occurred in the vicinity of South Church Street and Memorial Avenue.

The defendant is further charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.

Defence Attorney Ben Tonner told Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale that, as far as Addinall was concerned, he did drive Friday night but he did not hit anybody.

Mr. Wilson advised the court that there was damage to the left side of the vehicle and to the windscreen.

When the defendant’s brother asked him about the damage on Saturday morning, Addinall said he thought the vehicle may have been vandalised when it was parked outside the licensed premises where he had been drinking.

The defendant did not inform police of the vandalism, Mr. Wilson noted.

He also told the court that the forensic testing of the vehicle was not yet concluded, but the evidence even at this stage was quite strong. He therefore objected to bail on the basis that Addinall was a ‘clear flight risk’.

Mr. Tonner observed that this seemed to be a case that would turn on forensic evidence and would take time, so the defendant should not have to remain in custody meanwhile.

He argued that Addinall was not a flight risk because his job was not his only tie to the island: he had been here for six years, had married here and had his brother here.

The attorney pointed out that the police officer in the case was content to have bail offered with conditions. Addinall had made no effort to flee; when arrested on Sunday, he was home cooking.

Mr. Bonner said the defendant’s stepfather was willing to assist with a cash bond. But with the present situation in South Africa, there was a limit to how much money a person could get out of the country is a given year. A cash bond of $10,000 would be available, but not immediately.

The magistrate said she had to make a distinction between a national of South Africa and a national of other countries that are easier to get to. She hoped the element of flight risk would be addressed by the surrender of passport and all other documents of identification.

She set bail with conditions to include a cash bond of $10,000. But a father might be prepared to put up the money and forfeit it, she commented, so she also required two local sureties in the sum of $10,000 each.

Mr. Wilson asked for conditions to include a curfew. He said there was no evidence Addinall was intoxicated, but by his own admission he had been drinking.

He also asked that Addinall report daily to police and not be allowed to drive. The defendant lived close enough to work that he could walk or bicycle, Mr. Wilson said.

The magistrate added conditions to include no driving, no drinking in licensed premises, reporting to police four times per week. Because his job requires him to work as late as 11pm, his curfew was set for midnight. He is not to approach the airport or attempt to leave the jurisdiction.

The matter was set for mention again on 23 November.

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