By Latrishka Thomas
A Gray’s Farm woman showed contrition in the High Court yesterday for causing the death of a young man in a vehicular accident two years ago.
Twenty-two-year-old Annik Lawrence is said to have caused the early morning smash-up on Sir Sydney Walling Highway in July 2019, which claimed the life of 21-year-old Kiyodie Osborne and left several other people injured, including a couple and their child.
Police said Osborne, of Roman Hill, died on the spot after being thrown from the car on impact.
He was travelling in a Honda Fit driven by Lawrence which crashed shortly after turning from Lightfoot main road onto the highway.
The Honda Fit ran into two other vehicles – a bus, and a car carrying the couple and their child – before crashing into the concrete boundary of a nearby property.
She pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in mid-June and was ordered to return to court yesterday for sentencing.
She was represented by lawyers Peter-Semaj McKnight and Lawrence Daniels.
The cries of the victim’s family members could be heard in the back of the courtroom as the proceedings began.
McKnight begged the court for leniency by indicating to the court that his client “not only endured emotional pain, but also physical pain” because she, too, was injured and had to be hospitalised for two weeks.
In addition to that, she also lost a friend and is “haunted and daunted by the incident”, the court heard.
He said that the woman is a young single mother of a five-year old son and two-year-old daughter and therefore “understands the importance of family and the significance of loss”.
“If she is placed in custody, it will erode that seminal role she plays thus far,” the lawyer said.
Furthermore, McKnight disclosed that his client is facing civil action because of this incident where compensation is being sought for death of victim.
He also revealed that Lawrence has no prior convictions, spent three days in custody at the St John’s Police Station and then a further 10 days or so on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison.
The attorney also reminded the court that there was no evidence of evidence of drinking, racing or use of a cellphone while driving.
“It was just an inexperienced person behind a machine,” he claimed.
McKnight also shared several precedent cases from the region that speak to the same offense.
A sister of the deceased took the stand and attempted to tell the court how the incident has affected her family but she could not contain her emotions.
“It truly broke our family,” she muttered.
Afterwards, the prosecution told the court that the defendant was in fact driving at a fast speed and was in the wrong lane.
Lawrence was then given an opportunity to speak and she said: “I’m apologising to the court for the wrongs I have caused and I am asking for forgiveness from the family for the pain I have caused them.”
Justice Colin Williams adjourned the matter until August 6 so that he could review the precedents.