A COUNTY Limerick man who was prosecuted for driving while holding a mobile phone was acquitted after he claimed a garda mistook his cup of coffee for a phone.
During a contested hearing, Cathal Scully, aged 26, of Greenfields, Crecora denied a charge relating to an incident at Tullybracky, Bruff on August 11, 2014.
Garda Niall Deegan of the divisional traffic corps said he “clearly observed” the defendant holding a phone to his ear while he was driving a Renault van at around 6.45pm. He said he turned his patrol car around and stopped Mr Scully at Holycross, Bruff a short time later.
Garda Deegan rejected solicitor Ted McCarthy’s assertion that he was mistaken and that his client was holding a cup of coffee.
“I have never seen anybody hold a cup of coffee to their ear as a mobile phone,” said Garda Deegan.
Mr Scully told the court his phone was in a pocket of his work pants and that the last call he had made or received was an hour earlier.
Judge Aeneas McCarthy said there was a conflict of evidence and because he had a doubt he was dismissing the charge.