David Toal secures acquittal in death by careless driving trial

June 4, 2019

David Toal from Exchange Chambers has secured an acquittal for a bus driver charged with causing death by careless driving.

James Brown, 46, was driving the number 12 bus through Middlesbrough when two passengers, Maureen Watson and Dorothy McLaren, boarded a stop on January 9 last year.

Before Mrs McLaren, 88, had sat down, she fell and hit her head on a seat, and then the floor, leading to a blunt head injury and an inoperable brain bleed.

Mr Brown and several passengers rushed to help the grandmother, and two men called for an ambulance – but were told they would have to wait more than two hours as ‘she was not viewed as a high priority’, jurors heard.

CT scans were carried out on Mrs McLaren but doctors deemed it was ‘not suitable’ to operate, and she died three days later.

Giving evidence, Mr Brown broke down in tears as he vowed never to drive public transport again while speaking of the impact Ms McLaren’s death had on him.

The jury at Teesside Crown Court returned a not guilty verdict, clearing the 46-year-old.

David Toal was instructed by Andrew Stewardson of ABR Solicitors.

David is an experienced member of the criminal team at Exchange Chambers.