(CMR) A man convicted of dangerous driving in an accident that resulted in the death of his good friend has been sentenced to 80 hours community service to be completed within 12 months.
Noel Vaughn Douglas (37) was sentenced in Grand Court for his conviction for dangerous driving that killed his friend, Matthew Owens (31), in September 2015 on the Linford Pierson Highway. Sources indicate the two were racing in the early morning incident with Owens on his Yamaha motorbike and Douglas in his BMW. Douglas overtook a car doing around 50-70 mph in the 40 mph zone and crashed into another oncoming vehicle. Owens, who had also overtaken, collided with the rear end of the same car and was thrown from his bike. He was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene of the accident.
Douglas has also been banned from driving for two years.
Douglas was previously acquitted of causing Owen's death in a trial earlier in the year by a jury who found him guilty of the lesser offense only. Given his exemplary character and his own personal losses because of the death the judge decided to forgo a custodial sentence.
Defence attorney Nick Dixey successfully argued that Douglas had not caused Owens death as he could not know that the bike rider had also made the same maneuver to overtake, according to the findings of the accident experts.
The local community was shocked at the incident as Owens, a father of two, was very popular on the local social scene. One of his children was just a few months old at the time of his death. He worked at Atlantic clothing store in George Town.
Hundreds of tributes poured in on Facebook from friends and family of Mr. Owens, who had a baby son. He was described as a happy, fun-loving guy, who always had a smile on his face. He played football for Shellaz FC in the Cayman Islands Sunday League.