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R v Marchant [2003] EWCA Crim 2099

Criminal Procedure - Road Traffic - Appeals - Convictions for causing and procuring death by dangerous driving - Convictions quashed on appeal - Agricultural machinery was authorised for use on roads and was in its original condition at time of road accident - Road Traffic Act 1988, ss 1, 2A, 40A, 44

8 August 2003

The second appellant (E) was a farmer who employed the first appellant (T) as a tractor driver. E owned a tractor fitted with a boom and grab at the front for moving hay or straw bales. The grab consisted of forward-pointing spikes on both the upper and lower jaw. In the course of his employment T was driving the tractor on a public highway in order to get from one part of the farm to another. The entrance he wished to turn into was blocked by a van so T waited on the correct side of the road for an opportunity to turn. The boom and grab was in the position recommended by the manufacturer for travel on the road. A motorcyclist coming in the opposite direction collided with part of the lower jaw of the grab and later died from his injuries. The appellants were charged under s 1 Road Traffic Act 1988 (amended by Road Traffic Act 1991) and by s 2A were to be regarded as driving dangerously if it would have been obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its ‘c...

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