Ap­peal sees drug-driv­ing conviction quashed

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

» 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.

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