A defendant who failed to remain at the scene of an accident and subsequently failed to turn up in court received a large fine at the recent sitting of Glenties District Court.
Michael Herron of Ballyiriston, Portnoon was charge with failing to remain at the scene of an accident and having no tax or NCT certificate at Loughderryduff, Portnoo on March 4th last.
Gda. Eileen Prendergast told the court that she attended the scene of a two car collision on the date in question last at Loughderryduff in Portnoo and spoke to one of the drivers, a Shauna Smith from Killybegs.
“She explained to me that she had been in a collision with another driver. I inspected all her documents and they were all in order,” she told the court.
“Ms. Smith informed me that the driver of the other car had left the scene. After some investigation I established the identity of the owner of the vehicle to be a Michael Herron from Portnoo. Two days later I took statements from Mr. Herron and he admitted to leaving the scene. He had insurance but had no tax or NCT.
“He was cooperative but he still decided to go to his home which was approximately three miles from the scene. He had facial injuries and bruising but did not attend the doctor.”
Gda. James Canning in evidence said that he had gone to the defendant’s home on the day of the incident and the accused told him that he had left the scene because of his injuries.
“He had quite extensive injuries”, the Garda said.
Judge Seamus Hughes asked the Garda if he detected any smell (of alcohol) from the defendant.
Gda. Canning said that he did get a smell of alcohol but that he showed him the remains of a glass of whiskey which he had taken ‘to settle himself’.
In evidence the driver of the other vehicle Shauna Smith said, “I was travelling towards Killybegs, driving slowly when I came to the top of the hill and all of a sudden there was a collision.
“The driver of the other car asked me had I fully comprehensive insurance and the rang somebody.
“He was saying ‘Get me out of here, get the car out of here before the Gardai come’
“Two young men did come to the scene and tried to remove the car, but the front wheel was embedded in the ditch and it wouldn’t move.”
Judge Seamus Hughes said, “ I am going to give this man the benefit of the doubt and not disqualify him. But I am going to hit him hard in his pocket.
“There is the possibility of drink being involved, but that cannot be proved and he should consider himself a lucky man. He also has not bothered to come to the court.”
The defendant was fined a total of €1600 and he was ordered to pay further €75 for witness expenses.