Wed | Nov 13, 2019

Bermudian magistrate cleared over failure to take breathalyser following car crash

Published:Monday | October 21, 2019 | 2:06 PM

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC – Cayman Islands magistrate Valdis Foldats Monday dismissed a case against one of Bermuda’s leading magistrates following a car crash earlier this year.

Foldats, drafted in to oversee the case, exonerated Khamisi Tokunbo, 65, who had denied refusing a breathalyser test after he was arrested following the crash in Paget parish on January 19.

Foldats said that the arrest of Tokunbo was illegal before dismissing the charge.

The court previously heard that police were called to the crash, near the public entrance to Elbow Beach, where they found Tokunbo’s car “completely off the road”.

Tokunbo said at the scene that he was not the driver.

But Magistrate Foldats, who heard arguments from Mark Diel for the Crown, and Charles Richardson for the defence, at a number of sittings this month, found that the arresting officer was biased against Tokunbo.

Tokunbo and another man, Allen Robinson, 64, were taken into police custody following the accident when the driver lost control and plunged down an embankment.

The men were helped out of the car by a passerby and the second man was taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police reported at the time.

Robinson pleaded guilty in court in May to not providing a breathalsyer test and was fined US$1,000 and disqualified from driving for 18 months by Magistrate Craig Attridge.

Tokunbo, who has been a magistrate since 2005, has not sat on the bench since his arrest shortly after the incident.

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