Drug use disputed in dangerous driver case

A Queensland man has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the Far North Coast but is disputing he was using heroin at the time and denies speed was the cause that led to another man being seriously injured.

Darren Rodney Stevens appeared via video link in Lismore District Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

The court heard Stevens had been driving a Toyota Camry on March 4, 2019, at Rock Valley, near Lismore, when his car was involved in an impact.

A man in the other vehicle was injured as a result of Stevens' dangerous driving, which he has admitted to on Monday.

Darren Rodney Stevens has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
Darren Rodney Stevens has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

However, Stevens' solicitor, Rod Behan, said his client would be disputing some facts in the case.

The Crown Prosecutor said the dispute focused on whether Stevens' "had an amount of heroin in his system at the time" and the speed he was travelling resulted in the impact from occurring.

Judge Jeffery McLennan set a dispute of facts hearing date for May 10 after he accepted there were "a number of issues", including "people's observations and opinions".

"The observations and opinions range from the speed at which the accused was travelling, and observations concerning matters of fact which allow for the conclusion that Mr Stevens recently injected himself with a drug…." Judge McLennan said.

The court heard there will be a number of witnesses called to the hearing, including the attending ambulance officers involved in the incident.

Stevens, who now lives in Gladstone, had previously lived in Yamba, the court heard during a previous mention of the matter in December.

Stevens, who isn't on bail for this offence, is expected to appear on May 10 in person at Lismore District Court.



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