Rice v Commissioner of Police

JudgeDouglas, C.J.,Williams, J.
Judgment Date15 February 1974
Date15 February 1974
CourtDivisional Court (Barbados)
Docket NumberNo. 44 of 1970

Supreme Court — Divisional Court

Douglas, C.J.; Williams, J.

No. 44 of 1970

Commissioner of Police

W.H.A. Hanschell, Q.C., for the appellant.

E. Belgrave for the respondent.

Criminal Law - Appeal against conviction — Driving Offence.

Facts: This was an appeal against conviction by a magistrate for driving a motorcycle without due care and attention — The issue was whether the magistrate's finding could be supported on the facts.

Held: The magistrate's findings were valid — Appeal dismissed.


This is an appeal against conviction by a Magistrate sitting at District “E” for driving a motor cycle without due care and attention.


The Magistrate found that the injured man was at 9.30 P.M. on March 13, 1969 standing on Road View Road, some 3 feet 7 inches from the left hand side when he was struck from behind by the appellant riding his motor cycle. The Magistrate further found that immediately before the accident, there was no one crossing the road, the motor cycle did not skid before striking the injured man, and people were gathered near a house on the opposite side of the road and near near a petrol station in the area.


The injured man stated in evidence that he was on the pavements about six inches off the level of the road. Another witness placed the injured man at the edge of the pavement in the gutter. Still another witness testified that the injured man was on the pavement and then stepped into the road and was some three feet seven inches from the pavement when he was struck, and indeed the police measurements taken of the distance from where the injured man fell to the right hand side of the road support the view that the injured man was roughly 4 feet from the left-hand side of the road.


Counsel for the Respondent referred us to the cases of Smith v. Gill (1961) 3 W.I.R. 309 and Miller v. Temull (1961) 3 W.I.R. 338. In the former, Gomes, C.J. stated –

“In collision cases there are numerous authorities which establish the principle that the driver of a motor vehicle must at all times, and more so in the night-time, exercise that degree of care which a prudent driver would exercise in the circumstances of the particular case:”


In the latter case, the court adopted the statement of the law thus set out in Seepaul v. O'Connor (1955) 15 Trin. L.R. 35

“The test is objective and a court in deciding the issue of fact must ask itself...

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