Accused motorist off the hook for now

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INLSA

Jessica Livesey, left, with her mom, Cathy, says her biggest fear is that her brother Michael Livesey may be forgotten.

Charges have been provisionally withdrawn against a motorist accused of knocking down and killing a Durban North resident.

Michael Livesey, 20, had left a friend’s home and was on his skateboard when he was hit and killed three doors from his home in Chelsea Drive in July.

Jevan de Vlieg, of Durban, had been charged with reckless and negligent driving, culpable homicide and the unauthorised removal of a vehicle involved in an accident.

In January, the case was set down for trial for April 23 in the Durban Regional Court.

On Monday State prosecutor Val Melis applied to the court for a postponement because there was a problem with the State arranging payment for the accident re-construction expert, whose evidence is being heavily relied on by the prosecution.

However, De Vlieg’s counsel advocate Paul Jorgensen asked for the matter to be struck off the roll.

He said his comments were not directed at Melis but at the State, because the matter was moving at a slow rate.

He argued that the defence had received documents from the State only earlier this month and a further statement on Monday before proceedings could start.

He said results from blood taken from Livesey were still not available. “The matter was never ready for trial when it was adjourned to this date,” Jorgensen argued.

Melis said the State had gone out of its way to ensure speedy justice for Livesey and De Vlieg.

She argued that while she did not have Livesey’s blood alcohol test results, the State would not rely on them.

Melis said the State depended on various departments, referring to the delay in the defence receiving the necessary documentation and for authorisation of payment for the expert.

She said there would be no prejudice if the case was struck off the roll provisionally.

Her application for a postponement was refused. The charges against De Vlieg were provisionally withdrawn, although he can be charged again once the State has everything in order to go to trial.

De Vlieg appeared confused and turned to his friends and family in the court’s gallery to ask whether it was over. He declined to comment. Jorgensen said anything he had to say would be said in court.

The Livesey family were not in court on Monday. Family spokesman Dean Macpherson said the family were told beforehand that the trial might be postponed.

He said they were disappointed and were having a difficult time because there was a family wedding on Sunday where Livesey would have been the best man. It would also have been his 21st birthday last Tuesday.

“They hope the Department of Justice resolves the necessary issues so that it can go back to court,” Macpherson said.

“The family want answers about what happened that night and are also looking for closure.” - Daily News

noelene.barbeau@inl.co.za


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