Minister on trial

Careless driving, DUI alleged

Arguments over whether Education Minister Rolston Anglin should face alternative charges of driving whilst impaired began proceedings Tuesday in minister’s drink driving trial.

Preliminary statements began just before noon with Mr. Anglin facing charges of careless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.

However, an alternative charge of driving whilst impaired was also preferred by the Crown.

Attorney Steve McField, representing Mr. Anglin, told Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn that the charges of DUI and DWI were mutually exclusive and the defence had the right to know which one they had to meet.

Mr. McField said having the two charges arising from the same incident was oppressive and duplicitous. He said he did not know of any other instance in which the two charges were brought on the same set of facts.

“This is a very important matter, of high public interest,” he said. Mr. McField noted that if the court ruled against him he would seek an adjournment.

Asked if either side wished to cite any authorities, Mr. McField said he did not know of any because this situation had not happened before. He pointed out that he had raised the question of the alternative charge before the Chief Magistrate and was told to raise it before the trial judge.

Crown Counsel Matthew Coles likened the alternative charge to a criminal matter such as burglary for which an alternative offence of handling stolen goods might also be laid.

Mr. McField said the way matters were unfolding seemed to be because of who the defendant is. “The whole tenor of the case seems to be going on the other side,” he said.

Crown Counsel Allliyah McCarthy said no one was trying to target the defendant because of his standing. She called Mr. McField’s comment unfair.

The trial continues. Please check back with cayCompass.com for further details.

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