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‘Careless driving' policeman trial aborted for ‘legal reasons'

 Constable John Wright (43), whose address was given as c/o Downpatrick PSNI station, denies knocking down Gary Smyth while driving an armour plated Vauxhall Insignia police car without due care and attention and causing a number of fractures to the pedestrian
Staff Reporter

THE trial of a PSNI officer accused of causing grievous bodily injury to a pedestrian by careless driving in August 2014, was aborted after the jury was discharged.

Constable John Wright (43), whose address was given as c/o Downpatrick PSNI station, denies knocking down Gary Smyth while driving an armour plated Vauxhall Insignia police car without due care and attention and causing a number of fractures to the pedestrian.

Barrister Laura Ivers had told the jury during the week-long trial at Downpatrick Crown Court that it was not the prosecution case that the constable had driven the car "deliberately or maliciously''.

Instead, she said, it was their case he did so by driving his police vehicle carelessly "without the requisite awareness of the surroundings of the area by not seeing Mr Smyth and further failed to be aware of the pedestrian who he ran over the lower part of his body.''

The court also heard that at the time Constable Wright and other officers were attending a major incident in the town's Meadowlands estate. Under caution he later told investigating officers that his "whole life turned upside down that night".

Judge Sandra Crawford told the jury of seven men and five women on Friday that she was discharging them for legal reasons.

The case has been adjourned for review next week.

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