Dec 04, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Gary Best, yesterday walked free of a causing death by dangerous driving charge in which national cyclist, Jude Bentley, was killed.
During a brief interview outside of the courthouse yesterday, when asked for a reaction, Best said: “I would like to express that I’m happy that the matter is dismissed and what played out in court is exactly what happened.”
Best was placed on $500,000 bail and was not required to plea to the indictable charge when it was first read to him. The charge stated that on February 8, 2020, at Clive Lloyd Drive, Georgetown, he drove motor vehicle, PRR 8182, in a manner dangerous to the public thereby causing the death of Bentley.
He was on trial in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Magistrate Rondell Weever.
Magistrate Weever yesterday upheld a no-case submission that was made in October by Best’s attorneys, Nigel Hughes, Ronald Daniels and Sophia Findlay.On October 26, Hughes submitted the no-case submission to the court for the cause of death by dangerous driving charge to be dismissed against his client based on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove the key elements of the offence.
As such, after the prosecution responded to the no-case submission, Magistrate Weever adjourned the matter and had set yesterday’s date for ruling.
According to Hughes, the no-case submission was upheld by Magistrate Weever, who ruled that the prosecution failed to establish that Best was driving dangerously, therefore the charge was dismissed.
During the interview, Best also stated that now that the matter is over both families can heal. He said that it was an accident and the facts that were presented to the court showed that he was not driving dangerously and did not deliberately killed Bentley.
The People’s National Congress (PNC) executive member who lives at Pradoville Two (Sparendaam), East Coast Demerara, was also charged for driving under the influence of alcohol.
He had denied the charge, which stated that on February 8, 2020, at Clive Lloyd Drive, Georgetown, he drove motor vehicle PRR 8182 while his blood alcohol level was at 0.85 micrograms.
Best was granted self-bail on that charge, while the trial for that matter is ongoing in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Senior Magistrate Clive Nurse.
In a previous hearing of the matter, the court learnt that Best served his country for nearly 35 years and that he also served as a presidential advisor, a member of the Legal Aid Clinic and is the recipient of a Medal of Service.
Kaieteur News has reported that the accident occurred at around 5:00 am on February 8, 2020. Bentley was allegedly struck by a black Toyota Land Cruiser, which was being driven by Best.
Reports indicate that Best and Bentley were heading in the eastern direction when the former slammed into the cyclist, taking down a utility pole located on a median at the same time.
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