Gary Best freed of drunk driving charge in ‘Jude Bentley accident’
City Magistrate, Clive Nurse on Wednesday upheld a No-Case submission by defence attorney, Nigel Hughes, and dismissed the charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) against former Army Chief, Rear Admiral (ret’d), Gary Best.
Hughes asked the court to dismiss the DUI charge on the ground that the prosecution failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove key elements of the case. Hughes also relied on the testimony of a police officer, who during the trial, told the court that the results of the breathalyzer test are considered unreliable if the machine is not calibrated every six months.
In his ruling on Wednesday, Magistrate Nurse agreed that the prosecution failed to prove the elements of the offence and noted that there was no evidence to prove that the breathalyzer test was approved for usage.
Best had pleaded not guilty to the charge, which alleged that, on February 8, 2020, at Clive Lloyd Drive, Georgetown, he drove motor vehicle PRR 8182 while his blood-alcohol level was at 0.85 micrograms. He was granted self-bail on that charge.
On December 3, 2020, Magistrate Rondell Weaver upheld a no-case submission which freed Best from the cause of death charge. The Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has already moved to the Court of Appeal to have the decision of Magistrate Weaver overturned.
Bentley, 41, a businessman and national cyclist, was riding along the highway as part of his training when he was struck down in the vicinity of the Russian Embassy, at approximately 05:00h by a black Land Cruiser driven by Best.
Reports indicated that Bentley and Best were heading east along the road and that Best reportedly tried to avoid hitting Bentley and struck a utility pole, but still managed to hit the cyclist, dragging him several feet from the point of impact.
Best was arrested at the scene and two breathalyzer tests were administered, which revealed that he was way above the legally-prescribed alcohol limit.