A MAN was acquitted of road traffic offences after an elderly farmer testified he was staying with him at his farm at the time of the alleged offence.
During a contested hearing, Martin ‘Sonny’ Casey, aged 24, of Toppins Field, Rathbane denied a total of eight charges, including dangerous driving and driving while disqualified, relating to an incident at Childers Road on April 18, last.
Garda Fiona O’Connell said as she and a number of colleagues were on patrol at around 9pm, she observed a white Volkswagen Golf driving at high speed against them in the direction of Roxboro Roundabout. She told Judge Eugene O’Kelly she recognised the driver, as the defendant saying she had “no doubt in my mind” it was Mr Casey.
The vehicle failed to stop at Childers Road but was stopped by gardai at Island Road a short time later after a city-wide alert was issued.
Garda O’Connell told Sgt Donal Cronin when she arrived at Island Road, the only occupant of the car was Mr Casey’s now wife, Natalie Quilligan.
Garda O’Connell said Ms Quilligan, the owner of the car, told her that Martin Casey was driving the vehicle at Childers Road a short time later.
However, in her direct evidence Ms Quilligan denied this stating. “I never gave nobody’s name.”
The witness added that she was not going out with Mr Casey at the time and that she told Garda O’Connell that she did not know where he was.
Mr Casey said he was not in Limerick on the night as he was training horses for Pat Lynch at his farm in Cappamore.
“I am a Traveller, so I have to be into horses. I can drive them, I can train them,” he said, insisting that had he been driving the car he would have admitted it.
Mr Lynch, who was called as defence witnesses, said Mr Casey stayed on his farm between April 16 and April 22 as he was due to export horses on the 23rd.
The 85-year-old said Mr Casey is excellent at his job and he insisted he was not mistaken as to the dates as his mind “is as clear as spring water”.
Judge O’Kelly said Mr Lynch’s evidence created a doubt and that Mr Casey was entitled to the benefit of that doubt. He dismissed the charges.