Taxi driver gets community order for causing death

| 29/04/2019 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

Taxi involved in accident by airport, 17 July 2017

(CNS): Roy Clivey Tamasa (71), a former licensed taxi driver, was ordered by the court on Friday to do 240 hours of community service and banned from driving for three years in connection with the death of Dr Vary Anette Jones-Leslie last July in a collision at the airport. Tamasa pleaded guilty late last year to causing her death due to careless driving when he knocked the doctor down as she crossed the airport road. At the time he was heading in to pick up a passenger.

The court heard that Tamasa, who was driving at around 30mph, had a momentary loss of concentration as he glanced towards the taxi stand and was then unable to brake in time to avoid hitting Jones-Leslie.

Given the circumstances of the case, including Tamasa’s previously clean criminal and driving record, and in accordance with the guidelines, the judge opted for a community service order and not a custodial sentence.

The court heard how Tamasa, who had been a licensed taxi driver for some 17 years before the incident, had been in a state of shock and was himself taken to hospital in the wake of the collision.

Having pleaded guilty and shown what the judge said was “genuine and deep remorse” after he read out a very moving letter Tamasa had submitted to the court, Justice Woods said he was not able, in law, to give a suspended sentence for a careless driving offence and so chose instead to give the community order.

Dr Vary Anette Jones-Leslie, who was a visiting physician from Jamaica working regularly with the HSA, had just arrived and was crossing the road towards Andy’s Rent-a-Car when she was hit by the taxi. She died the following day as a result of the injuries she sustained.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a person who drove as a profession, this should have be reckless not careless driving. The penalty would then be greater than community service

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, he should also have been charged with burglary, because that would have been a longer sentence.

      What a ridiculous statement. He’s charged with what suits the offense, and has a realistic chance of a conviction.

      I’m sure reckless driving wasn’t available because it wasn’t actually committed, or would have been impossible to prove.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Driving at twice the speed limit in a van not looking at the road as he scouted for business. And he gets off. What a joke. His position as a taxi driver should be an aggravating factor to sentencing, but according to the Absurdistan guidelines.

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  3. Dumbfounded says:

    A damn disgrace. I wonder how his Police Officer daughter feels about the ruling.

    The Doctors life was worth much more than 240 hours of community service. DISGRACEFUL.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is a very rude comment. This is a man who made a terrible mistake. A man with an impeccable reputation. Of course his police officer daughter must be happy. Can you imagine living with that “mistake”? Nothing can bring the doctor back. His community service will be appreciated.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So since she is dead and he is old, just let his guilt be his punishment, absurd reasoning! He made a mistake and was driving twice the limit and as a professional Taxi driver should be held to a higher standard of conduct on the roadway as they are paid to carry passengers. Had he been focused on driving, she would be alive.

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  4. Junior says:

    Wow. Only in cayman,
    I’ll remember this in the event I ever mess up too

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  5. Sick of car killers getting off says:

    So he was speeding, distracted by greed and killed someone. Jail, jail, jail.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    disgrace

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Bless up Roy, he truly is sorry.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    What a disgrace. Caymanian illegally kills non-Caymanian and gets no jail time. Why should we expect anything different?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget Pastor David George of First Baptist GT, who plowed through a cyclist while driving his F250 on the phone, and no charges were brought!

    https://caymannewsservice.com/2017/10/cyclist-killed-in-misadventure-inquest-finds/

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    • Anonymous says:

      Except that he said he was using a voice-activated, hands-free system, which you have assumed (without evidence) is a lie. Your attempt to drag his (misspelled) name through the mud is as specious as it is grotesque.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I acknowledge that anyone killed in a road accident no matter who is at fault is heart breaking for the deceased and the families connected to it. However I must add that the woman who was referenced in the story was an accident waiting to happen. I had the fright of my life when she veered across the road in front of me on the Newlands road. She could hardly hold herself up on the bicycle. Thank God there was no oncoming traffic so I managed to stop what I guess you would call a plow through.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And that makes him less responsible for hitting someone with his truck?

        Manslaughter is manslaughter
        If a 25 year old Caymanian had done what he did they would have been in Northward faster than you could say “sorry bobo”

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    • Anonymous says:

      Pouring rain, wasn’t speeding, oh and maybe the cyclist should not have been in the road.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Yet another lenient verdict sending all the wrong messages to society. Distracted and impaired driver deaths continue to be minor traffic offenses in the Cayman Islands. Pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists should really take note of how little victim’s lives were worth.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Note to self: If I ever want to kill some one, use a vehicle.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Idiots commenting here…listen up, for those who want to hang, draw and quarter the guy. Yes, it was a tragic incident, and a poor person lost their life, however, the charge that he is guilty of is death by careless driving. Not dangerous, but careless. If the people commenting about deportation etc have the means to drive, and have never done anything careless, they’re better drivers than me.

    The difference here is that someone died. If you’ve ever picked up your phone, looked at a pretty girl walking by, been distracted by an accident on the other side of the road etc, whilst driving. You’ve been careless too.

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    • Anonymous says:

      When it is your family members or relatives plowed down and dying on the asphalt I hope you feel the same way

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    • Anonymous says:

      It seems many people here are faultless drivers. SMH, you’re part of the problem if you genuinely think that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He killed someone 10:17! I hope its you next!

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      • Anonymous says:

        You’re missing the point 4.03, quite badly too.

        I have every sympathy for the victim and family, and it’s terrible what happened, but, almost everyone on the roads here is guilty of careless driving at some point in their driving career. So, the point I’m making is, this could happen to almost anyone who doesn’t appreciate the fact they’re in charge of a tonne or two of deadly metal.

        Most people make mistakes and fortunately someone isn’t dead as a result.

        As for wishing me dead, that’s very pleasant of you. I hope you have a lovely day, and learn to open your eyes to different perspectives.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I hope wake up to the fact he should be in jail and your oversight of this is tragic. He killed someone! Your just as bad as him for over explaining to yourself.

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          • Anonymous says:

            It’s “you’re”. Oversight? That makes no sense.

            He killed someone? You’re quick on the uptake. By the way, not everyone who kills, is evil. Sorry if I’ve blown you’re (sic) mind.

  13. Anonymous says:

    it was an accident due to careless driving, end of story.
    the bigger issue is the lack of enforcement of traffic laws especially against taxi drivers generally who seem to be able to create their own rules of the road.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    I too would like to see the letter but think this is a fair judgement. The driver was careless but wasn’t drunk or driving recklessly. It was an unfortunate accident that could happen to anyone, anyone can get distracted for a second while driving.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He was though doing twice the limit. If a driver knocked someone down doing 100 in a 50 limit, would you view it differently? Speed limits are in place for a reason, and since the majority of drivers seem to view them as optional, greater police enforcement is needed islandwide. If not, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers will continue to be killed in these accidents.

      With just a little compassion we can all realise just how utterly devastated this driver must’ve been upon realising he had not only hit this poor doctor, but caused injuries that killed her – but the fact remains that had he been crawling along at 15mph obeying the limit, the outcome would almost certainly have been different. If nothing else, may this incident remind all drivers, that nothing is worth speeding for. Better late in this world, than early in the next.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Late Madison woman (may she rest in peace) was facing 10 years; she was never in physical possession of the gun.
    Driving double speed limit and killing a person seems OK, since it only gets you community work.
    Justice doesn’t boost ratings. Nobody cares about justice.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they took away his ability to be a taxi driver?!? Or drive at all….

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I hope that all crazy irresponsible drivers take the warning and see that his age played a big role in his sentence .
      But think if he was say 45 years of age he might have gotten 5 years in prison and disqualified from driving for 2 years after
      while you’re not able to provide and feed your family .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Former licensed taxi driver and regular DL suspended for 3 yrs. Pretty light. Lifetime driving ban would have been appropriate given the circumstances.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Tamasa is not Caymanian name.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    He should have been locked up. Corruption is running wild in Cayman. I know someone hit a man, stoped and ask if he was ok and wanted to go to hospital and the man said no he was ok, he went to Hospital later, and was ok.The person that hit him got 3 months in jail and disqualified from driving for 3 years. This Doctor is dead, that is as serious as it can get.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    CNS do you have the full letter from the taxi driver? I am struggling to believe this person had such deep remorse but at least he didn’t hit and run like many here. I can’t believe how lax the sentences are for killing someone while driving. Gangsters take note, why bother with guns when you can mow people down and have to do 6 weeks of community service.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    If he was a foreigner he would have been locked up.

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