ACT News

Hit-and-run driver found guilty of culpable driving

A Batemans Bay man who trashed his car to cover a hit-and-run has been found guilty of culpable driving.

Hugh Trounson – who was the cyclist struck by Wayne Anthony Thompson, 30, in Tuggeranong in March 2012 – said the decision in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday had been a win for Canberra.

Thompson sped away after the crash, leaving Mr Trounson lying injured on the road.

Mr Trounson spent a week in hospital with fractured vertebrae and ribs, gravel rash, a cut mouth and a knee injury.

Outside court, Mr Trounson said Thompson's behaviour could not be tolerated.

"It's a good result and closure for both myself and my wife, we feel justice really has been served, it's a win for Canberra and for cyclists," he said.

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"We retired to Canberra because of the facilities and it being a friendly city.

"The sentence doesn't matter, the most important thing is that he has been found guilty and will be held accountable. I'm satisfied with that."

Thompson faced trial before Magistrate Robert Cook in November having pleaded not guilty to a charge of culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm.

The court heard Thompson had a disqualified licence when he began a car journey from his then Wanniassa home to drop his partner at her mother's Kambah house on March 7.

The route took them along Wheeler Crescent to a roundabout at the junction with Fincham Crescent, where the car struck Mr Trounson as he rode through the intersection.

Thompson paused briefly before speeding away from the accident.

He then jumped on the car's bonnet and roof, and put a log through the windscreen to cover the damage caused by the accident in a bid to avoid prosecution.

In evidence, Mr Trounson said he had seen the car slow before the crash and assumed it would give way.

Thompson claimed he had slowed the vehicle at the roundabout, looked for other road users and started to accelerate when his partner yelled to look out.

He said he turned to look at her but then heard a bang and saw a body hit the windscreen.

Defence lawyer, Soraya Saikal​, argued her client's conduct had not reached the level of gross negligence required to prove a charge of culpable driving.

But Magistrate Cook found Thompson had failed to adhere to the high standard of care required of a driver of a motor vehicle.

The magistrate found him guilty of culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm.

Thompson had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified.

The prosecution withdrew back up charges of negligent driving and not stopping to provide assistance as a result of the finding.

Thompson will be sentenced in February.