Monday 21 August 2017

Pringle trial: Driver found 'not guilty'

Monday 19 June 2017

Pringle trial: Driver found 'not guilty'

A woman accused of killing a three-year-old after hitting him with her van soon after sending a text, has been cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.

Jurats Mike Liston and Jane Ronge today found Rebekah Le Gal (39) not guilty after retiring for two hours to reach a verdict.

Toddler Clinton Pringle had been holidaying in Jersey with his family in June last year when he was run over outside Millennium Park by Mrs Le Gal's black VW van.

Throughout the trial, the Crown had argued that she had become "dangerously distracted" after sending a text to her son while at the wheel, which had already caused her to ignore two road traffic signs - 'Give way' and 'No entry'.

Moreover, Prosecuting Advocate Mark Temple added that the mother-of-two had actively tried to hide her phone use from Police by burying the mobile under her husband's jumper in the wake of the attack.

But Advocate Matthew Jowitt, defending, told the Court that, while Mrs Le Gal did not dispute the illegality of having used her mobile while driving, this offence had occurred as many as 25 seconds prior to the accident and could not possibly be the direct cause.

Mrs Le Gal - a committed Christian and volunteer at the Freedom Church - was subsequently absolved of the charges shortly after 15:00. Nonetheless, she will face the Court once more on July 27 accused of 'careless driving' - a charge to which she has pleaded guilty.

In presenting the Court's conclusions, the Commissioner thanked Pringle's family for having conducted themselves "with great dignity" despite having had to sit through a "harrowing" case.

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