Irish Daily Star

Energy firm fights slavery

- ■■Olivia KELLEHER

Yesterday, Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the jurors they could adjourn the case for the evening and asked them to return to the Central Criminal Court at 10.30am this morning.

“The question arises is that something you are happy to do?” asked the judge. The foreman of the jury replied: “Yes”.

Earlier, Mr Justice McDermott told them he was allowed to receive a majority verdict.

POWER NI has made a donation to a human traffickin­g charity to help it to fight modern slavery.

The North’s largest energy supplier has made a £1,000 (€1,170) donation to Invisible Traffick to help raise awareness and provide education regarding human traffickin­g and modern slavery.

Invisible Traffick CEO Gayle Bunting said: “We will use this funding to continue our mission of making the invisible, visible.”

A 33-YEAR-OLD man has been found guilty of dangerous driving causing the death of GAA commentato­r Paudie Palmer.

Bohdan Bezverkhyi, who is a native of Ukraine but has an address at Rigsdale House in Ballinhass­ig, Co Cork, had denied dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Palmer at Dunkereen Cross, Innishanno­n, Cork on December 29, 2022.

Mr Palmer (65) was a native of Kenmare in Co Kerry. He taught for 40 years at St Brogan’s College in Bandon, Co Cork, worked for C103FM and 103FM and was also a columnist for the Echo newspaper.

The father-of-two was hospitalis­ed in the aftermath of the accident and died in Cork University Hospital on January 8, 2023.

The jury of seven women and five men returned a unanimous guilty verdict yesterday following almost six hours of deliberati­ons.

The trial got underway last week at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Jonathan Dunphy thanked the jury for their attention to detail. Mr Bezverkhyi was remanded in custody for sentencing on May 2 next.

Victim impact statements will be prepared in advance of the sentencing hearing. A Governor’s report has also been ordered.

Meanwhile, earlier this week the trial heard that Mr Bezverkhyi admitted to his mother and his friends in text messages just hours after the collision that he had “left the scene of a traffic accident drunk.”

Texts sent in Russian in the aftermath of the crash were translated into English and presented as evidence to the jury.


The texts were translated by translator Liudmilla Ladchenko. In one text the accused said “It is not funny to me. I will be jailed. Left the scene of a traffic accident. They will take me in now. They will come and get me.”

One friend asked if he had hit anyone. He replied: “I did.” He asked another person for guidance via a text message.

“I got in a to a car accident. Advise me what to do. I am in the wrong 100%. I drove off. I was drunk. There is no excuse for me. I am guilty of all.”

He said via text that he was “blaming” himself and when asked by a friend why he hadn’t gone to the police he replied “because I am not sober.”

Mr Bezverkhyi also exchanged text messages with his mother in which he said that he would hand himself in the following day.

In one of the texts he said that he had “left the scene of accident. Was pissed. Neverthele­ss, need to surrender to the garbage. I don’t see any other way out. I think this is the most correct option.”

The trial also heard evidence from Assistant State Pathologis­t, Dr Margaret Bolster, who told the jury that Mr Palmer was around 300 to 500 metres from his home when the collision occurred.

Dr Bolster indicated that the cause of death was “traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries with thoracic injuries due to a road traffic collision.”

The State’s case was that Mr Bezverkhyi came to a stop sign and went through it, just as Mr Palmer’s car was coming to the crossroads, causing it to spin and collide with the embankment, causing his death.

Mr Palmer was very well known and respected in sporting circles. Attendees at his funeral mass included GAA stars Sean Og O’hAilpin, Alan Quirke and Munster GAA Council PRO Bob Ryan.

Poignantly, mourners at St Mary’s Church in Innishanno­n heard that Paudie had loved every minute of what was to be his last Christmas with his first grandchild, Lucas Padraig, who was born in September 2022.

Mr Palmer is survived by his wife Colette, daughters Claire and Emily, his three brothers, extended family and friends.

He was an uncle of Claudine Keane, who is the wife of former Ireland soccer internatio­nal Robbie Keane.

 ?? ?? COURT: Bohdan Bezverkhyi was found guilty; (right) Paudie Palmer
COURT: Bohdan Bezverkhyi was found guilty; (right) Paudie Palmer
 ?? ?? BELOVED: Hundreds attended Paudie Palmer’s funeral
BELOVED: Hundreds attended Paudie Palmer’s funeral

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