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Sep 2, 2014

Chief Magistrate Suspends Phillip Gallaty from Driving Following Traffic Accident

Phillip Gallaty

In March of this year, fifty eight year-old businessman Phillip Gallaty was accused of reversing his double cab white Toyota Hilux Pickup truck into the front bumper of the vehicle of Traffic Magistrate, Stephanie Gillett. The Ford Escape SUV was parked on the shoulder of the Northern Highway in front of Friendship Restaurant and was damaged. Gallaty did not stop or report the incident to police claiming he did not know of the accident. Five days later, police officers visited Gallaty’s home and arrested him for driving without due care and attention.  This afternoon, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith who heard the trial over a two day period concluded that Gallaty was guilty of the offense and disqualified him from driving for the next six months. She additionally ordered that he cannot obtain a Belize license during this period.  Gallaty was also fined one hundred dollars to be paid by September third.  In trial, Magistrate Gillett and her young son both testified. The magistrate said that she even assisted the police in locating the culprit who after hitting her vehicle did not stop. Gallaty told the court that after he exited the Friendship Parking lot, he knew a vehicle was parked behind him but claimed he was not aware that he caused any accident and that he did not hit any vehicle.  In mitigation, Attorney Stevannie Duncan asked the Chief Magistrate to take into consideration that it was Gallaty’s first traffic conviction and that he left the parking lot without causing any damages to any vehicle. But it was the Chief Magistrate’s view that Gallaty departed from the standard of being a prudent driver and so found him guilty.

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6 Responses for “Chief Magistrate Suspends Phillip Gallaty from Driving Following Traffic Accident”

  1. belizean says:

    For a fender bender? Can anyone say “vindictive” jesus man, have the guy pay a fine and repairs, but stopping him from driving for six months? it is quite clear that one magistrate taking up for her fellow magistrate. This looks bad only on the magistrates being petty. Now I have to google these magistrates images to see who they are… so i dont bump into them and accidentally knock the chip off their shoulder!

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    We all know that some folks tend to think that they are Belizean Royalty, and tend to act this way. Leaving the scene of any accident in which you are involved is a crime, here in Belize. Thus a crime was committed.

    Saying that you never knew a vehicle was hit, is a very lame excuse. However, suspending the man’s license for six months is pathetic. Come on. This was simply a fender bender.

    It just goes to show that even court magistrates tend to abuse power here in Belize. So what is the punishment for power abuse?

  3. Harrison says:

    I agree with Belizean-and this also looks like reverse racism. Why didnt the magistrates ban the black guy that took off a mans foot at lee chee?

  4. Natty Dread says:

    This so crazy. Is reverse racism is alive and well in the Belize Judiciary? Ban a businessman from driving for a fender bender? I have a friend, a retired expat from the U.K. who got the exact same treatment from the Belmopan magistrate for a slightly scraped fender in a bank parking lot – repair cost $30. But he was banned from driving for 6 months by a vindictive and racist magistrate.

  5. CEO says:

    Business as usual in Belize! We use a sledge hammer to kill a fly.

    Driving privileges denied for a fender bender…? Is this stupid? Is our court system out of order?

  6. ridiculous says:

    i don’t see them revoking the police officer, who was driving drunk and killed two people, license! this is ridiculous! this is why belize can’t progress! because of people who are supposed to be just, committing unfair crimes. it was just a fender bender! ridiculous!!

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