Jailed driver David Boyes, who blamed crash on wasp sting, wins right to appeal
AN amateur cricketer jailed after a jury rejected his claim that it was a wasp sting – and not his dangerous driving – which caused a serious crash has won the right to appeal.
David Michael Boyes, 22, was jailed for 14 months in May after he was found guilty of dangerous driving.
But three senior judges yesterday said it is arguable that Boyes' conviction should be quashed and granted him permission for a full Court of Appeal hearing.
The court heard Boyes of Lound Nook, Belper, was driving on the A35 near Axminster, Devon, when his car collided with a Vauxhall Corsa driven in July 2009. The other motorist, 24, suffered devastating injuries, including numerous fractures which resulted in her needing surgery on several occasions.
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At his trial at Exeter Crown Court, Boyes claimed he had suffered a delayed reaction to a wasp sting, blacking out and losing control of his vehicle just before the smash.
However, experts could find no other case in which an allergic reaction had been so delayed. The jury did not believe his story and he was convicted.
The prosecution had claimed he was distracted by changing tracks on his iPod or by using his mobile phone.
Yesterday, his lawyers argued that evidence of a text message sent from his mobile phone before the accident should not have gone before the jury.
After analysis, experts had agreed it was likely that the message had been sent about an hour before the crash, making the evidence "irrelevant", his lawyers said.
In granting leave to appeal, Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart said the crown court judge had been right to allow the evidence into the trial.
It was only after the judge had made the ruling that it had been agreed that the message was sent long before the accident, he told the court.
"We consider that it's reasonably arguable that the judge should have directed the jury to ignore completely the evidence about the text message," he said.
The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, granted leave to appeal the conviction, but dismissed a challenge to the 14-month sentence and two-year driving ban. No date was set for the appeal.