Party Bus Hen Party Paisley Sheriff Court
The Hen Party hired The Boogie Bus (Stan's Party Bus) to take them from Linwood to Glasgow. They didn't make it out of Linwood as when the bus was going around a roundabout, one of the Hens fell out of the bus whilst dancing (she escaped with minor bruising and a few stitches). We were asked to represent the driver by solicitors for the owner/operator of the bus. Both men were charged with culpable and reckless conduct by "allowing passengers who were under the influence of alcohol to stand and dance in the aisle of the bus whilst it was in motion", or alternatively, "using and allowing the vehicle to be used with a defective door". In the particular circumstances of the case, the alternative charge was the more serious of the two charges and an expert report was obtained from a police training instructor demonstrating that the door was in perfect condition until the unfortunate Hen collided with it after tumbling over whilst dancing, breaking the door and causing her sharp exit in Linwood. The Crown when presented with this report correctly decided to delete the alternative charge and any references to the door being ineffective. The door - it was accepted - was entirely blameless.
The Crown can be criticised however for continuing with proceedings against both men for culpable and reckless conduct. This charge is a very serious charge and requires a high level of proof which in our opinion the Crown could never reach. Representing the driver was a fairly straighforward matter and we focussed our attention on the legal submissions. Effectively what we were saying was that passengers had the option to remain seated and chose to ignore verbal instructions and signage on the bus to stand and dance whilst the bus was in motion. The driver was entirely blameless for the actions of the passengers and frankly should never have been prosecuted.
The Sheriff took a few days to consider his verdict in respect of the legal submissions and returned a verdict of acquittal on the grounds that we had identified from the outset. Our client was found not guilty and was free to go.
The trial was dealt with and legal submissions were made on behalf of our Firm by our Mr Simpson on 4th May 2018 and our client was found NOT GUILTY on 9th May 2018 at Paisley Sheriff Court.
Blame it on the Boogie...
This case attracted the interest of the national press:
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