Judge Marian O’Leary reduced the charge to a lesser one
A JUDGE disqualified a man from driving who “passed out a vehicle, stopped dead in the road and caused a collision” in Limerick.
Danny Harty, aged 24, of Church View, Askeaton was charged with dangerous driving. At a previous court sitting, Mr Harty pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving.
Judge Marian O’Leary adjourned the case as she said she wanted to view CCTV before reducing the charge.
At the first court hearing, Sergeant Michelle Leahy said on November 14, 2016, Mr Harty was involved in a road traffic collision at Booliglass, Askeaton.
“He passed out a vehicle, stopped dead in the road and caused a collision. The injured party went into the back of Mr Harty,” said Sgt Leahy.
During the garda investigation CCTV footage of the incident was obtained. This was viewed by the judge at last week’s Kilmallock Court.
Pat Enright, solicitor for Mr Harty, said the reason his client stopped so suddenly while driving was because his phone rang in a coat pocket and he went to answer it.
“I respectfully submit it was not dangerous driving,” said Mr Enright.
The solicitor said it was “utterly careless”.
“The State is agreeable to the lesser charge subject to you [Judge O’Leary]. I know there are some concerns in relation to insurance cases,” said Mr Enright.
Judge O’Leary said: “My problem is he stopped dead in the middle of the road. I can’t understand why somebody would stop dead in the middle of the road. It is beyond me.”
Mr Enright said the phone was in his client’s pocket at the time and he is “not driving at the moment”.
After viewing the CCTV footage, Judge O’Leary reduced the charge from dangerous driving to careless driving.
She fined Mr Harty €400 and disqualified him from driving for a year.