Jailed truck driver Sarmad Nisan walks free after winning appeal over brakes

A TRUCK driver jailed for at least three years over a crash which injured six people has been released after the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed his conviction.

Sarmad Shamon Nisan, 42, was sentenced to four years’ jail with three years non-parole by Judge Deborah Payne, who determined following a judge-alone trial that he was speeding when his truck tipped and ploughed into several cars at the bottom of a steep descent in Dee Why in Sydney’s north.But yesterday the CCA quashed Judge Payne’s verdict, determining the evidence before her at trial should have led her to the conclusion that she could not rule out faulty brakes.Nisan was travelling 45km/h over the speed limit for a heavy vehicle when his 19.5 tonne truck tipped at the bottom of a descent on Warringah Rd in October 2014.Shocking CCTV of the crash showed the out-of-control truck speed into an intersection at Pittwater Rd and tip over, crushing cars stopped at a set of traffic lights.Two police officers heading to work, Amy Champion, then 27, and her housemate and colleague James McClenaghan, 29, were both seriously injured.Ms Champion had a broken shoulder, six broken ribs, deep cuts to her arm, broken teeth and a traumatic brain injury from the crash and spent months in rehabilitation.

Mr McClenaghan also sustained a head injury as well as a severe burn to his ankle which required a skin graft.Nisan always blamed the brakes for the crash. His lawyers argued the brakes were not roadworthy and had been poorly adjusted making them susceptible to brake fading.It was argued on his behalf that brake fading caused the accident by stopping him from slowing the truck to the 20kmh speed limit for heavy vehicles.The Crown case was that Nisan failed to put the truck in a gear no higher than the third and that is what caused him to career down the hill.The CCA determined the evidence from experts at trial should have led Judge Payne to find against the Crown.“The expert evidence ought to have led her Honour to the conclusion that the Crown could not exclude the possibility that it was the state of the brakes which had caused the collision, rather than Mr Nisan’s driving.”Nisan has already spent six-and-a-half months in jail.

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