Truck driver Robert Crockford has been found guilty of dangerous driving that killed a young couple in a seven-vehicle crash at roadworks near Dubbo in January 2018.
Crockford, 52, of Queensland was found guilty of all 12 charges including three counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and seven counts of wantonly causing bodily harm.
The jury delivered the verdicts in the NSW District Court at Dubbo on Monday after deliberating since Tuesday the previous week.
The accused closed his eyes and stood quietly as the foreman pronounced the succession of unanimous guilty verdicts as each of the 12 indictments were read out, a process that took more than five minutes.
Family members of victims Hannah Ferguson, 19, of Gulargambone and Reagen Skinner, 21, were seated in the gallery and tears flowed.
Crockford was charged after the fatal crash at roadworks on the Newell Highway almost 20 kilometres north of Dubbo on January 16, 2018.
More than 25 witnesses were called by the Crown to give evidence in the trial that opened on March 4.
The Crown maintained Crockford was distracted by fatigue and that caused him to miss the signs in the 1.8km before the crash and that he failed to keep a proper lookout.
The defence case was Crockford suffered an unexpected cough syncope and as a result lost consciousness and was therefore not driving at the time of the crash.
The jury of seven women and five men retired to consider its verdicts on Tuesday afternoon. On Friday afternoon it sent a note to the court advising that it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict but Judge Nanette Williams asked the jurors to come back on Monday and continue deliberations.
Shortly after midday on Monday the jury sent another note and when the jurors came before the court, the foreman confirmed they had reached verdicts.
After the verdicts were returned, Judge Williams thanked the jurors for the "obvious care" they had given to the case.
The court and the state of NSW were "deeply grateful", she said, before they left the courtroom.
The Crown then brought a detention application before the court for Crockford, who had been on Supreme Court bail since August 2018.
Judge Williams, noting the likelihood of a jail term of some length, found failing to appear was an unacceptable risk and upheld the Crown's application and remanded Crockford in custody.
He will face court again for sentence in May.
The matter was one of the last jury trials taking place in NSW for an indefinite period after all new jury trials were temporarily suspended from March 16 "until further notice" in response to coronavirus.
Trials already under way at that date were to continue.
Queensland truck driver Robert Crockford has been found guilty of dangerous driving that killed a young couple stopped at roadworks near Dubbo in January 2018.
Crockford, 52, was also found guilty of three counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and seven counts of wantonly causing bodily harm.
The jury delivered its verdicts in the NSW District Court at Dubbo on Monday after deliberating since Tuesday the previous week.
The accused stood quietly as the verdicts were read out in front of members of the families of victims Hannah Ferguson and Reagen Skinner.
More to come.
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