ON TRIAL: Geoffrey Joseph Sleba is accused of killing a cyclist in a hit and run.
ON TRIAL: Geoffrey Joseph Sleba is accused of killing a cyclist in a hit and run. Jonno Colfs

Defence gives reasons to find 'not guilty' as trial wraps up

THE trial of a truck driver accused of a fatal hit and run is drawing to a close at Warwick District Court.

Defence lawyer Jeff Hunter QC summed up the case for Geoffrey Joseph Sleba yesterday, reviewing the reasons the 47-year-old should be found not guilty.

Mr Hunter said the prosecution were suggesting Mr Sleba struck Dr Pearson with his truck and then left him for dead in a ditch on Anzac Day 2014.

Mr Sleba has pleaded not guilty to the dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death before leaving the scene.

The jury heard that to find Mr Sleba guilty, they must be sure another vehicle had not struck Dr Pearson or the cyclist was not doing something wrong.

But if it was Mr Sleba, who this week said he did not remember a collision but was not sure it was not him, Mr Hunter said his then-undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea could be to blame.

"(Maybe) He was drowsy and didn't appreciate that he was tired and didn't see Dr Pearson and struck him with what must have been a glancing blow and continued on without knowing what he had done," Mr Hunter said.

Mr Hunter said Mr Sleba's behaviour following the crash indicated he was unaware of his possible involvement, as he did not fix damage to his truck.

Crown prosecutor Sam Bain reviewed the evidence against Mr Sleba.

The jury was reminded of the spotlight found at the crash site, which was the same type as those on Mr Sleba's truck.

Mr Bain said Mr Sleba discovered one of his own missing on the afternoon of Anzac Day 2014.

A horizontal scrape and gouges on the passenger side of the truck were implicating, Mr Bain said.

"They just so happen to line up where there's metal on Dr Pearson's bike," Mr Bain said.

After Judge Leanne Clare provides her summation of the case, the jury will be released for deliberation.


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