Judge: No doubt she in­tended to drive

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By SINEAD KELLE­HER

A BONANE woman, who claimed she was just wait­ing for a taxi in her car in Ken­mare, when she was breathal­ysed and charged with be­ing in charge of a ve­hi­cle while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol, was dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for three years at Ken­mare Dis­trict Court this week.

Judge David Waters said that de­spite Grace O’Sul­li­van’s claims that she did not in­tend to drive and that she had texted a taxi driver ear­lier in the evening and later called one, he be­lieved she in­tended to drive the ve­hi­cle.

He said that in her di­rect ev­i­dence at Ken­mare Dis­trict Court, where she showed text mes­sages and a call log to the court, she had not told the gar­daí that she was wait­ing for a taxi on the night in ques­tion.

Garda Caro­line Hen­nessy told the court that Ms O’Sul­li­van had told her that she was only go­ing two kilo­me­tres out the road when she ap­proached her at the car park in Lodge Wood in Ken­mare on Au­gust 8,2017.

She said that Ms O’Sul­li­van was sit­ting in the driv­ing seat and was re­luc­tant to open the win­dow but even­tu­ally opened the door and got out.

The court heard that Garda Hen­nessy then asked her to per­form a breath test which she failed. Ms O’Sul­li­van was sub­se­quently ar­rested and con­veyed to Kil­lar­ney.

En route she was abu­sive to Garda Hen­nessy and called her an “ugly mis­er­able c**t”. Ms O’Sul­li­van later apol­o­gised for the re­mark and said that she “had had a bad day” and had taken it out on the Gar­daí.

In her di­rect ev­i­dence, Ms O’Sul­li­van said that she did not in­tend to drive and that she didn’t re­alise that “sit­ting the car wait­ing for a taxi was so bad”.

Judge Waters said he had con­cerns about rais­ing this ev­i­dence as it had not been put to Garda Hen­nessey.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Padraig O’Con­nell said that she was only giv­ing ev­i­dence and could be cross-ex­am­ined. Judge Waters said that a de­fence ar­gu­ment should be put to the pros­e­cu­tion but he al­lowed the ev­i­dence to be put to the court.

Judge Waters asked Ms O’Sul­li­van why she had not told the gar­daí at the time that she was wait­ing for a taxi.

She said she had not done so as she felt ev­ery­thing go­ing against her but that she had later told gar­daí that she was wait­ing for a taxi when she re­alised the “se­ri­ous­ness” of it.

“You are now say­ing you did tell the gar­daí when you said in di­rect ev­i­dence that you didn’t,” said Judge Waters.

He added that he be­lieved that she had not re­but­ted the State’s case that she was in­tend­ing to drive and he said he had “no doubt” that she in­tended to drive.

“She gave no ev­i­dence that she had told gar­daí she was wait­ing for a taxi, only when she was pressed on it did she say she told gar­daí,” he con­cluded.

Mr O’Con­nell ap­pealed for ‘ le­niency’ for Ms O’Sul­li­van who is a mother of a four-year-old.

Grace O’Sul­li­van of Milleens, Bonane was con­victed and fined €200 and dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for three years for be­ing in charge of a ve­hi­cle while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

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