Fatal hit and run driver won’t go to trial
A BRITISH man who tried to flee the country after a fatal hit and run on the Far North Coast has pleaded guilty to all charges.
Graham Belcher, 52, was expected to go to trial in July over allegations after he’d pleaded not guilty in August to two separate counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and grievous bodily harm.
However, on Wednesday, Belcher entered guilty pleas to those two charges in Lismore District Court after discussions with the Crown Prosecution were successful.
He had previously pleaded guilty in August to two counts of failing to stop and assist following a three-vehicle fatal crash at a Tumbulgum intersection on September 2, last year.
Belcher was driving a blue 2019 Hyundai i30 when he collided with two motorcyclists on Tweed Valley Way near Tumbulgum.
A 39-year-old Gold Coast man, Scott Rose, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other motorcyclist was taken to Tweed Hospital with chest injuries.
After fleeing the scene, the Gold Coast-based British man was arrested at Brisbane International Airport trying to board a one-way flight to the United Kingdom hours after the incident.
He was then extradited from Queensland and has remained bail refused since his arrest.
Belcher was re-arraigned before Lismore District Court on Wednesday, where he amended his pleas via video link.
His defence solicitor, Rod Behan, told the court there was “no objections to the facts” but informed Judge Dina Yehia there may be an amendment at a later date.
Mr Behan said the amendment would relate to an error in the facts about whether both motorcycles had their lights on at the time of the incident.
Judge Yehia vacated Belcher’s original July trial date and set his sentencing for March 17.