Driver accused of killing baby Ciaran 'had cannabis traces in system when he crashed into pram'

The driver accused of killing a newborn baby had traces of cannabis in his system when he caused the fatal crash, a court has heard.

James Paul Davis, 35, denies a number of charges relating to the death of Ciaran Leigh Morris. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire
James Paul Davis, 35, denies a number of charges relating to the death of Ciaran Leigh Morris. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire

The 35-year-old from Croxtalls Avenue, Bloxwich, is accused of killing Ciaran Leigh Morris in Brownhills High Street on Easter Sunday last year when his BMW crashed into the pram carrying the two-week-old.

He denies causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while uninsured and causing death by careless driving.

Though Davis passed breathalyser tests at the scene he failed an eye-to-nose co-ordination test at Oldbury Police Station and then a blood test revealed he had 1.7mg of THC in his system, just below the legal amount of 2mg.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Davis - who the prosecution claimed was driving at 67mph just moments before the crash - ran from the scene despite claiming he had lost consciousness from a coughing fit.

Prosecuting James Curtis QC said: "He passed all the tests at Oldbury Police Station after, but he did fail the finger to nose test. His finger bypassed his nose, there was something stopping his natural reflexes.

"According to tests, he had not had alcohol and or drugs. When the blood sample was taken, he had a level of THC in his blood which is a cannabis derivative. At a rate of 1.7 mg, the legal limit is 2.0 so it is a little below, so it is not illegal to be driving with that amount of cannabis in his bloodstream."

However, Mr Curtis did accuse the defendant of changing his story and then refusing to answer questions under caution.

He said: "He says on the 999 call he woke up on the ground. However, a witness saw him stepping out of his BMW, not on the ground. And then run away, when was he lying on the ground? And if he wasn't, why did he say that. If you believe his lie, then that might be effect his credibility."

The jury was shown phone footage and CCTV images of Davis running away from the scene.

The driver of the Ford which Davis' BMW ploughed into gave evidence.

Ciaran Leigh Morris was two weeks old when he died

Shannon Elvey said: "I tried move my car to the left, so he would miss, obviously I broke. I all happened so quickly, but I had my foot on the break.

"I was in a lot of shock, my partner's mum was screaming.

"I said "what is going on, what is he doing". I said that just before the collision."

Alison Kennedy, who was Miss Elvey's front seat passenger also gave evidence.

She said: "I cannot remember the exact words but Shannon shouted something like "what the hell is going on, what is he doing". There was an almighty crash and all the airbags went off."

She added: "I got out the car to say "get back here" to Daniel (her son who had run after Davis) but by the time I had got out the car he had gone.

"I saw the car, up against the wall, and a buggy. As I got the near the car there were people screaming "the baby the baby" I was thinking it was about our baby, but then I realised there was another baby."

Welling up with tears, she said: "I tried to help. We had the baby on the pavement, and then the child was taken away by the ambulance."

As Mrs Kennedy gave evidence, family members of baby Ciaran, were crying in the public gallery.

The trial continues.

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