Limerick woman escapes drink-driving conviction as case is dismissed

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Limerick woman escapes drink-driving conviction as case is dismissed

A WOMAN who walked away from the scene of a road collision was found not guilty of drink-driving after a judge ruled gardai did not give adequate evidence relating to her detention following her arrest.

Catriona Gleeson, 39, of Greenmount Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick was prosecuted before Limerick District Court in relation to an incident at O’Connell Avenue at around 1.40am on October 9, 2017.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told when gardai arrived at the scene they were informed the occupants of the car had left the area. Ms Gleeson and her partner, who was not before the court, were observed walking nearby.

When approached by gardai, the defendant, who was intoxicated, stated she had been driving the Nissan Almera car which was involved in the accident.

She was arrested and taken to Mayorstone garda station when she later provided a sample of blood which confirmed she was more than four times the legal alcohol limit.

During the hearing, Judge O’Leary was told that sometime later the defendant’s partner made a statement to gardai claiming it was he who had been driving the car. He said he had asked Ms Gleeson to take responsibility as he too had been drinking. In a second statement, Ms Gleeson corroborated his version of events.

Solicitor Tom Kiely said there were no independent witnesses to the collision and that “nobody knows” who was driving the car when it crashed.

He submitted there was significant doubt giving the conflicting statements and that the State had not put forward a prima facie case against his client.

Mr Kiely also noted there was no evidence during the hearing relating to his client’s detention at Mayorstone garda station.

“There is no evidence regarding compliance with the custody regulations,” he said. While Judge O’Leary rejected Mr Kiely’s first submission, she ruled in his favour in relation to the second one.