Sword of justice hangs by a hair

YESTERDAY a Sydney man who was involved in a Lennox Headaccident used a handful of hair to convince a judge to overturn his drink-driving conviction.

When originally convicted for high range drink-driving Robert Nagy had told the Lismore Local Court that he was so intoxicated he could not be sure he was the driver.

The Hilux Toyota he was in had run off the road in Lennox Head on April 20, 2007.

But the second man in the car, who had been drinking with Nagy at the Lennox Hotel, testifiedNagy was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

When police arrived at the scene, both men were out of the car.

Nagy said he began to suspect he was not the driver when he learnt that several long fair hairs and some skin were embedded in the driver’s window.

Nagy has short dark hair, but the second man in the car hadlonger fair hair and had received six stiches for a head injury after the accident.

Tow truck driver John Stevens testified that a month after theaccident he saw several hairs and some skin on the driver’s window.

When asked by the Crown if the skin was ‘fresh’, he said it was more like ‘dried up skin that might come off your finger’.

In Lismore District Court yesterday Judge James Black said he had no reason to doubt Mr Stevens was not telling the truth and the magistrate ‘didn’t have the advantage of Mr Stevens’ evidence’.

On setting aside Nagy’s conviction aside he said: “I have a real doubt about who was driving.”

Outside the court, Nagy said: “I had asked the police to do DNA testing on the hairs, but they said I had been watching too many American police shows.”

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