Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Taxi driver cleared over death still has faith in NZ justice system

Bililigne Gebretsadik in court.
Bililigne Gebretsadik in court.

An immigrant taxi driver charged with careless driving after his wife lost their unborn baby in an accident says he still has faith in the New Zealand justice system.

Wellington cabbie Bililigne Gebretsadik, who came to New Zealand from Ethiopia in May 2000, was found not guilty of the charge by Judge Tom Broadmore earlier this week.

The 41-year-old, whose case was heard over several weeks at the Wellington District Court, was arrested after the crash at a three-road intersection in Newtown June 2012.

Mr Gebretsadik was driving his wife Seble Cherie at the time. She was 31 weeks pregnant and injured in the collision. The couple's baby died following an emergency caesarean at the Wellington Hospital Emergency Department.

Ms Cherie didn't want police to prosecute her husband.

Mr Gebretsadik, who had maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, told APNZ today the outcome of his case was "very good".

"Very good, now I'm very happy."

Losing their baby, and then being charged for careless driving had been a bad experience, Mr Gebretsadik said.

"The first time, I'm very sad. Now, I'm very happy. The New Zealand justice system - it's all right."

During the court case, the key police witness Sheronika Singh, who was driving the other car involved in the accident at the intersection of Adelaide Rd, John St and Riddiford St, was adamant she had a green light to proceed, and therefore was in the right.

Mr Gebretsadik's lawyer, Kerrin Eckersley disputed this, and argued Mrs Singh may not have been clear as to which set of lights she had been looking at.

Mr Gebretsadik and his wife married in Ethiopia in 2004. They have 8-year-old daughter. Ms Cherie joined her husband in New Zealand in 2007.

- APNZ

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