Appeal sees drug-driving conviction quashed
» STEPHEN Gyde, 58, has won an appeal against a drug-driving conviction after a court ruled that police failed to follow proper procedure when trying to obtain a blood specimen from him.
Mr Gyde of Wellington Street, Cheltenham had been convicted of failing to provide a blood specimen when required to do so after he was allegedly seen driving on May 23.
He claimed that he had a needle phobia and could not submit to a blood sample being taken but when his case was tried in his absence at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court in December he was convicted.
He was fined £210 and disqualified from driving for 15 months.
Mr Gyde appealed to Gloucester Crown Court where prosecutor Tim Hills said the Chevrolet car was seen in the Swindon Road area and was later found abandoned.
A man was pursued and caught and told police that Mr Gyde was driving the vehicle. Later Mr Gyde was arrested and taken into custody said the prosecutor.
“In custody a drug swipe was conducted which proved positive,” said Mr Hills. “He was asked for consent to take blood and he told the officer that he was not going near him with that needle. He said he had a phobia of needles and the officer said ‘that is not a defence.’”
However, said Mr Hills, it can in fact be a defence and the officer’s next step should have been to engage with medical professionals to assess whether Mr Gyde’s fear was genuine.
Judge Michael Cullum formally quashed the conviction and sentence and all orders were revoked.