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Friday, October 3, 2008

Brogan decision

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Readers will recall that six-year-old Joshua Penny died in October, 2006, and that Paddy Brogan was found not guilty in Joshua's death in July of this year. Here's a Toronto Star story on it:

SYDNEY, N.S.–A judge found a Cape Breton man not guilty today of impaired driving causing the death of a young boy, saying the incident was "a tragic accident" that wasn't the result of the man being drunk.

Paddy Brogan, 59, of Florence was also acquitted of criminal negligence causing the death of 6-year-old Joshua Penny in the fall of 2006.

At the outset of his four-day trial in June, Brogan pleaded guilty to another charge of driving with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit.

For that offence, Judge Anne Derrick sentenced him to a fine of $1,000 and one-year driving prohibition.

Penny was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Sept. 26 in Florence, N.S.

He died nine days later as a result of serious head trauma and other internal injuries.

In delivering her 90-minute decision, Derrick said the accident was not the result of any level of impairment.

During the trial, the Crown insisted drinking affected Brogan's driving and his ability to notice children on the street.

However, an accident-reconstruction expert testified the collision would have been unavoidable regardless of who was driving.

Defence lawyer Derrick Kimball said there was no evidence that his client was speeding or driving erratically.

"Accidents do happen," the defence lawyer said.

"When they do happen, as in the circumstances of this case, it's important not to blame someone who is indeed blameless for the accident itself."

No witnesses who actually saw the collision testified.

I don't have an opinion on the decision, but it certainly generated a lot of response.

But even with the public interest, Judge Derrick's decision, which was issued in July, two and a half months ago, wasn't actually published for the public to read until this week. Read it here.

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