Boxer jailed for driving while disqualified

Peter Lewison drove four times after court disqualified him for no insurance

 

Professional boxer Peter “Lightning” Lewison was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment on Tuesday after pleading guilty to driving while disqualified on four occasions. 

Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn imposed terms of seven days, 14 days, 21 days and 28 days to be served consecutively, for a total of 70 days or 10 weeks. Each offense also carries a mandatory two-year period of disqualification, for a total of eight years. 

Attorney Clyde Allen, who represented Lewison for the public good, had asked the court for a sentence of community service. 

“He can speak to children and tell them to do the right thing and how to avoid trouble, and speak to someone in time of trouble,” he said. Speaking to children would be of greater benefit than a custodial sentence, Mr. Allen urged. 

The magistrate did not agree. “He cannot be given special treatment because he is a professional boxer,” she said. 

[The most recent Cayman Compass report lists Lewison, 27, as having six wins and one loss, fighting in the light heavyweight division.] 

Mr. Allen had told the court that Lewison promotes the Cayman Islands when he fights. He had to raise funds by going out and seeking sponsors, going house to house, selling tickets, in addition to training. He drove to get around and contact as many people as possible. 

The magistrate said many people are dependent on their cars… “They do not resort to breaking the law,” she pointed out. 

Reviewing court records, she noted that all of Lewison’s offending involved a Hummer. He was initially disqualified until February 2014, for no insurance. 

On May 1, 2013, less than three months after being disqualified, he was stopped while driving in George Town. He was arrested and bailed. 

On Dec. 25, 2013, he was stopped on West Bay Road. On this occasion he told the officer he had a lot going on and he asked for time to straighten things out. 

“Despite this plea for another chance, you were stopped just three days later,” the magistrate reminded Lewison in her summary of his offenses on Dec. 28. On Jan. 6, 2014, he was stopped on North Church Street. When the officer informed him that being disqualified meant he wasn’t insured, Lewison replied, “I know.” 

He was kept in custody for two days at Northward Prison before being brought to court. It took time to get all of his charges together. A social inquiry report was ordered: it indicated he was a talented athlete; he had a poor attitude toward compliance; he had gained a certificate in accounting from UCCI. Because of concern about possible head injuries from his boxing, a psychological report was ordered: it showed no neurological problems. 

By driving after February 2013, Lewison was breaking the law, the magistrate summed up. By driving after May, 2013, he was breaking the law and breaching his bail conditions. All of his driving showed a flagrant disregard for an order of the court, she said. 

The magistrate accepted that he did now seem to realize the seriousness of his offending and he had employed a driver. 

Being disqualified for eight years will be a burden and significant inconvenience, but that was clearly what the legislature intended, she said. “The message must be to the defendant and others that driving while disqualified will not be tolerated.” 

Each time Lewison was stopped, he was found to be driving without insurance and using a vehicle with an expired license and without a certificate of roadworthiness. For these offenses plus one failure to attend court, he was fined a total of $1,150 and given six months to pay after his release. He was also given credit for his previous two days in custody. 

Disqualifications for no insurance were made to run concurrent and the period of disqualification began in February this year. Lewison will be eligible to apply for a licence again in February 2022. 

“I had things to do and no one to drive me.”

PETER LEWISON, disqualified driver 

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