After 32-year-old Jason Hutson Beckles pleaded guilty earlier this year to dangerous driving, his matter came before the Court again today.
Beckles was behind the wheel of the vehicle in which his girlfriend Nicole Watson lost her life on August 22, 2011, along the Cummins section of the ABC Highway. Watson died on the spot while the driver escaped uninjured.
Today, three character witnesses spoke on Beckles’ behalf in the No. 2 Supreme Court. They were Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Maisha Emmanuel, the convicted man’s brother Neil Beckles and his boss Nick Lashley.
The facts revealed that Beckles, a technician from Bryan Road, Welchman Hall, St Thomas was coming from the direction of Sol Warrens going towards Hinds Hill, when on reaching the brow of a hill his car veered to the right and collided with another vehicle. Both vehicles were extensively damaged.
Legal submissions were also made by both the prosecution and defence attorney.
Wilfred Abrahams, who is representing Beckles, asked the court not to impose a custodial sentence on his client. He contended that a noise he heard coming from under his vehicle just prior to the collision was never investigated by the police nor was the car ever examined.
In his submissions, Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman said the road was wet at the time of the incident. He therefore felt that the question for the court was whether Beckles had exercised the standard of care which a competent and careful driver should have exhibited.
Blackman added that Watson’s death was an aggravating factor and the court ought to consider in passing its sentence. Although not asking that a custodial sentence be imposed, he urged the court to consider a fine and to have the particulars endorsed on Beckles’ driver’s licence.
A date is to be set for Beckles’ for sentencing.