Mechanic cleared of driving defective car
GARDAÍ HAD HANDED OVER KEYS OF CRASHED CAR BUT LATER CHARGED MAN
A GLENBEIGH mechanic who collected a damaged vehicle from the scene of a crash only to be stopped after turning away from a garda check-point and subsequently charged with driving a defective vehicle, has had his case dismissed after the court heard that he had been handed the keys by gardaí.
Leon Seidler (28), Keelnabrack, Glenbeigh was charged with driving a vehicle with a defect knowing that it was a danger to the public, at Keelnabrack on May 14, 2016. The court heard that when the vehicle approached the garda check-point it turned and was located a short distance away. The vehicle was involved in crash earlier that day, was extensively damaged and had initially been seized by gardaí.
PSV Inspector Jim O’Brien found a number of defects, particularly to the near side front corner, including a missing headlamp, serious damage to the front wing and the vehicle’s bonnet was pushed back.
Solicitor Dan O’Connor said he could fully explain the events, stating that his client was a mechanic by trade and had received a call from a lady client earlier that day asking him to deal with a crashed vehicle and take it away.
Mr O’Connor said gardaí had moved the vehicle to a safe area and had the keys. The defendant had contacted gardaí who handed Mr Seidler the keys back at the scene of the crash. “My client inspected it to see if it was safe, he removed the wing mirror and drove back towards the garage with a friend in front in a van with lights flashing.”
Mr O’Connor said that gardaí had felt he had no insurance after stopping him but he did in fact have garage insurance.
He added that the vehicle was in no way perfect but wasn’t a danger to the public in the manner in which he was driving it, adding that it also not dangerously defective and it was also a dry evening.
Judge O’Connor said that under such circumstances it wouldn’t be right to convict and duly struck the matter out.