The Crown Prosecution Service pursued a claim of driving without due care and attention despite the Unite bus driver claiming throughout that there was a fault with his brakes.
Thanks to Unite’s expert legal assistance the CPS’s claims were dismissed. The Judge who dismissed the case against the Stockwell Go Ahead Bus driver was critical that the CPS expert had not inspected the brakes, nor the electrical systems, on the bus. Also, that the Wright Group had not permitted the Defence Expert, who had travelled to Ireland where the buses are manufactured, to carry out a full investigation.
The CPS theory that the driver had suffered from pedal confusion over a period of 39 seconds was dismissed as not proved beyond reasonable doubt. The defence adduced evidence of electrical faults with the new London buses from other drivers’ statements and the CCTV download from the bus which clearly showed the driver trying to steer around obstacles and repeatedly shouting out “no brakes”.
After being charged, the driver contacted Unite who instructed its solicitors, OH Parsons, to investigate and defend our member. Unite’s solicitors instructed two electrical and engineering experts to provide reports on the issues on the new ‘Boris Bus’ fleet. These reports highlighted issues with the electrics and computer braking systems.
Unite solicitor Niamh O’Brady commented “At time of a huge onslaught on access to justice this shows again Unite Legal Services standing behind its members. Without the support of Unite this professional driver would have had great difficulty defending himself and be left facing the possibility of being banned from driving.”
London and Eastern Regional Secretary, Peter Kavanagh, added “This case once again highlights the quality and professional legal service offered to Unite members faced with the devastating possibility of losing their livelihood.”