The father of former NSW police minister Troy Grant has been found guilty of drunkenly running over a friend during a horrific hit-and-run accident after a judge rejected his sleepwalking defence.
Kenneth Wayne Grant, 72, was on Friday afternoon found guilty by a NSW District Court judge over the death of Tony Greenfield following a Christmas party in late 2019.
Mr Grant, a retired police officer, pleaded not guilty to three charges including dangerous driving occasioning the death of Mr Greenfield in the Maitland suburb of Bolwarra about 11.25pm on November 30 two years ago.
He faced a judge-alone trial in the NSW District Court on Friday. Judge John Hatzistergos found him guilty of all three charges including failing to stop and police pursuit.
The crown prosecution had alleged Mr Grant was drunk when he ran down Mr Greenfield, who had separately left the same party.
One female partygoer gave evidence that she recalled walking into a room to see Mr Grant pulling up his pants after they had fallen down, with another person remarking that he had almost fallen through a glass door. Others described him as “clearly intoxicated”, “slurring his words” and “incoherent”.
The court heard Mr Grant recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.194 at Maitland Hospital following his arrest.
Despite efforts to revive him, Mr Greenfield died after being rushed to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.
Camera IconTroy Grant leaves court with his father Kenneth Grant. Dylan Robinson Credit: News Corp Australia
During the trial, Mr Grant’s legal team argued it could not be discounted he was sleepwalking at the time of the fatal accident.
Mr Grant’s barrister, Phillip Boulten, pointed to the evidence of one partygoer, who reported seeing his client “nodding off” to sleep on the couch around 10.45-11pm prior to the crash, which occurred about 11.24pm.
Mr Boulten had argued that at the time of the incident, Mr Grant could have been in the midst of the kind of deep sleep during which sleepwalking occurs.
Camera IconTony Greenfield was killed when he was hit by a car being driven by the father of former police minister Troy Grant. Instagram Credit: Supplied
The court heard Mr Grant had a history of sleepwalking, with Troy Grant giving evidence that his father’s sleepwalking was the stuff of “folklore” within his family.
However, Judge Hatzistergos found it had been established beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not sleepwalking during the incident.
Grant will appear before a sentence hearing next year.Internet Explorer Channel Network