More serious charges considered following County Limerick road collision

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Newcastle West Courthouse
A WOMAN accused of causing a car crash in Newcastle West in which a garda was seriously injured could now face trial at Limerick Circuit Court.

A WOMAN accused of causing a car crash in Newcastle West in which a garda was seriously injured could now face trial at Limerick Circuit Court.

Amanda O’Brien, aged 28, of Oakpark, Newcastle West is already facing a charge of dangerous driving arising from the {http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/leader-local/garda-ombudsman-launches-investigation-following-county-limerick-collision-1-3983377 |crash} at Gortboy, Newcastle West on June 22, 2012 in which a member of the Garda Traffic Corps was seriously injured, and a patrol car was written off.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had previously said that O’Brien’s case could be dealt with at District Court level.

However, speaking at Newcastle West court last week, State solicitor Aidan Judge said that the injured garda has not recovered as hoped, and that the charge against Ms O’Brien could become more serious as a result.

“I do believe his injuries were quite serious,” Mr Judge said, adding that with new medical reports the State “may be asking the DPP to revisit her decision on jurisdiction”.

If the DPP upgrades the charge to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm, Ms O’Brien could be sent for a full trial at Limerick Circuit Court. This more serious offence carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Solicitor Andrew D’Arcy, defending, said that he was not aware that the State was seeking to have the charges reviewed, and that “any canvassing of the DPP should have been obtained before now”.

He said that he had come to court seeking a hearing date at the lower court, indicating that Ms O’Brien intends to plead not guilty to the charge.

Judge Mary Larkin said that if the garda’s injuries have not healed and a new medical report is obtained, this would constitute new evidence that the State was entitled to refer to the DPP.

The judge adjourned the case until October 8.