Omesh Ramnarain. African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Durban - OMESH Ramnarain, who appealed his conviction and 10-year sentence for the 2016 deaths of two cyclists, walked out of court on Friday a free man.

Ramnarain, through his legal representative, advocate Murray Pitman, was granted leave to appeal his two culpable homicide convictions and sentences.

In April 2018, Ramnarain, 35, of Longcroft, Phoenix, was convicted on two counts of culpable homicide for the deaths of Richard Da Silva and Jared Dwyer in the Durban Regional Court.

Da Silva and Dwyer were cycling on the M4 Ruth First Highway when Ramnarain, who had been at a nightclub the previous night, drove his Black Golf GTI into them, in February 2016.

Magistrate Anand Maharaj sentenced him to five years in jail on each count, and suspended his driver’s licence for a year.

A month into serving his sentence at the Westville Prison, Ramnarain was granted R30 000 bail, in the Durban High Court, pending the appeal hearing.

On Friday, Judge Kate Pillay ordered that the convictions and sentences on both counts be set aside.

Judge Pillay said the magistrate’s court judgment was impugned mainly on the basis that the court rejected Ramnarain’s defence - that there was a reasonable possibility that immediately prior to the collision, a rock hit his windscreen, affecting his ability to see through it.

She added that, while it was sad that two innocent lives were lost, the law required that each case be decided on its own facts and legal principles be applied to these particular facts.

Speaking through his attorney, Roshan Samir, Ramnarain said he was relieved the matter was over.

“As I said during the trial on more than one occasion, I am, and remain, extremely sorry for the loss the deceased’s’ families have had to endure.

“It was a terrible accident, caused by the throwing of a rock at traffic - an act which has become far too prevalent these days on the roads in and out of Durban.”

He added that he was wrongly pre-judged and convicted by the media before the trial started.

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