Zena Francis, the victim, was crossing Front Street near Arnold’s Market when the defendant hit her. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Zena Francis, the victim, was crossing Front Street near Arnold’s Market when the defendant hit her. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16: A 25-year-old man who hit a pedestrian then sped off was today given a two-year road ban.

Darrin DeShield denied driving while impaired but admitted refusing to give a sample of his breath from a breathalyzer test and failing to stop after an accident. The offences happened on Tuesday night at 10pm.

Crown counsel Carrington Mahoney did not proceed with the impaired driving charge.

The court heard the defendant was seen by a police officer driving “erratically” along Front Street in a car.

Zena Francis, the victim, was crossing Front Street near Arnold’s Market when he hit her. DeShield continued to drive along Front Street and was stopped by police near Crow Lane.

The officer saw his eyes were glazed, his head was rolling from side to side and his breath smelled of alcohol.

When the officer told the defendant he was going to be arrested, DeShield said: “They’re supposed to have buttons to cross the street.”

He was arrested and taken to the Hamilton Police Station.

Ms Frances was taken to hospital but has been released.

Addressing the court, the defendant said: “I had left Rosa’s Cantina which is about 100m from where the incident occurred.

“I drove off and I wasn’t speeding.

“The car is old so to me, I felt like I hit a pot hole.

“I proceeded in my direction at a reasonable speed.”

He continued: “If I had known I had hit someone, I would have stopped.

“My daddy is the victim of a hit and run.

“I would have stopped and checked.

“I am the person who gives tourists directions.”

DeShield also questioned why the victim would have been crossing the street when he had his high beams on.

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner told him it was his “duty” to keep a “lookout” when driving.

He gave DeShield an $800 fine for failing to stop after the accident and $300 for refusing to give a sample of his breath. DeShield was also given a two-year driving ban.