Doctor: McBride was drunk

Former Ekurhuleni Metro police chief, Robert McBride, was not sober hours after he crashed his car in December 2006, the doctor who treated him on the day told the Pretoria Regional Court on Wednesday.

“From the examination he was not sober,” Inbanathan Sagathevan told the court.

Sagathevan said he had received a call from his cousin Stanley Sagathevan, a colleague of McBride’s at the time, who “begged” him to treat the former police chief.

Sagathevan said his rooms were closed, but because he had seen McBride as a patient three times before, he agreed to meet him between 7.00pm and 8.00pm, only hours after the accident occurred.

“His demeanour on this examination was different, he was overly friendly and very casual,” he said.

Bloodshot eyes

Sagathevan said on other occasions when he treated McBride for diabetes and hypertension he had always been formal.

He said: “He also had bloodshot eyes and he was not walking with a proper balance.”

Sagathevan said McBride smelled of alcohol. When prosecutor, Christo Roberts, asked Sagathevan if he felt McBride was capable of driving, he responded “no, not at all”.

McBride faces charges of fraud, defeating the ends of justice and drunk driving after crashing his state-owned Chevrolet Lumina following an EMPD Christmas party in December 2006 on the R511, near Hartbeespoort Dam.

Sagathevan said during the examination he had been given “direct suggestion” by both McBride and his cousin that he take blood from Stanley Sagathevan and send it to the laboratory under the guise that it was from the former police chief.

Sagathevan said McBride suffered from a cut on the back of his head and a bruise on his lower back as a result of the accident.

Diabetes defence
He said while he had not done a complete examination relating to diabetes and hypertension, he did not believe they could have caused the accident.

He had not conducted a complete examination because Sagathevan had treated McBride two days prior to the accident and had slightly increased McBride’s medication for low sugar levels.

McBride’s defence argued he was not drunk at the time of the accident but suffering from diabetes-related symptoms. — Sapa

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