Father of former NSW police minister had ‘alcoholic blackout’ during fatal hit-and-run, expert tells court

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A neurologist suspects the begetter of erstwhile NSW constabulary curate Troy Grant had an “alcoholic blackout” erstwhile helium was progressive successful a fatal hit-and-run clang aft a Christmas party.

Dr David Rosen told the Newcastle territory tribunal connected Friday that Ken Grant’s actions connected the nighttime could not beryllium explained by transient planetary amnesia (TGA) – a abrupt impermanent occurrence of representation nonaccomplishment – and determination was beardown grounds “this is idiosyncratic who was affected by alcohol”.

Grant, 72, a retired constabulary inspector, claims helium was suffering from either TGA, was sleepwalking oregon had slumber apnoea – and was not driving voluntarily – erstwhile helium crashed into the victim.

Grant has pleaded not blameworthy successful a judge-alone proceedings to respective charges, including unsafe driving causing death, aft moving into idiosyncratic Tony Greenfield erstwhile allegedly drink-driving astir 11.25pm connected 30 November 2019 successful the Maitland suburb of Bolwarra.

The 62-year-old idiosyncratic died of his injuries astatine Newcastle’s John Hunter hospital.

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Grant, who had a humor intoxicant level of 0.108, claimed to person nary representation of the crash, which threw Greenfield 20 metres guardant past his woman erstwhile they were walking to their accommodation aft having been to the party.

Defence barrister Phillip Boulten SC suggested Grant could person been connected auto-pilot with nary conscious knowing of what helium was doing oregon the consequences.

Boulten said determination had been erstwhile sleepwalking incidents during which Grant had moved irrigation pipes connected a workplace and gone swimming successful the ocean.

Rosen told the tribunal connected Friday helium had viewed video footage taken by constabulary earlier and aft Grant’s apprehension and had work statements from enactment guests who believed Grant was intoxicated, and helium did not judge TGA was the crushed for Grant’s erratic driving and however unsteady helium was connected his feet.

“There was much going connected than deficiency of memory,” the neurologist said. “This was not a axenic representation problem.”

Rosen said a CT scan taken successful December 2019 showed Grant had nary encephalon abnormalities. He said Grant’s actions and nonaccomplishment of representation did not acceptable with TGA oregon dementia.

Questioned by authoritative Lee Carr SC, Rosen agreed Grant’s deficiency of representation could person been caused by an alcoholic blackout.

He said an alcoholic blackout would origin the aforesaid encephalon disturbance arsenic seen successful TGA and usually occurred successful radical who were habitual drinkers.

Rosen said that successful the lack of immoderate different neurological mentation for Grant’s behaviour connected the night, helium believed an alcoholic blackout was “well wrong the realms of possibility”.

Dr Anup Desai, a specializer slumber and respiratory physician, earlier told the tribunal that, successful his nonrecreational opinion, sleepwalkers could not thrust a car oregon surely not thrust a important region without crashing.

He was sceptical Grant had been sleepwalking erstwhile helium drove 850 metres earlier hitting Greenfield and different 4km earlier being pulled implicit by police.

The archetypal defence witness, advisor geriatrician Dr Tuly Rosenfeld, said helium was convinced Grant had been suffering from an underlying encephalon illness and aboriginal dementia astatine the time.

“I surely wouldn’t privation to person his brain,” Rosenfeld said connected Friday.

He said it was not unreasonable to suggest Grant had been sleepwalking oregon was successful a dazed, somnolent authorities due to the fact that of his underlying wellness problems, including post-traumatic accent disorder, depression, chronic slumber apnoea and somnambulism.

Grant’s information would person been exacerbated by the important magnitude of intoxicant helium had consumed and the medicine helium was connected earlier the crash, the doc said.

The proceedings volition resume connected Monday erstwhile Troy Grant is expected to springiness evidence.