Tuesday 17 September 2019

Late Late Show dragged into drink driving case

ryan Tubridy 6.9.10 0062
ryan Tubridy 6.9.10 0062

Precisely when did the 'Late Late Show' end on the night of December 12, 2014?

That was the question left unanswered in the case of drink drive accused Anne O'Connor (43) from Rocklands, Ballywilliam.

Her Toyota Hi-Lux jeep came to grief at Clonleigh in Palace East near Clonroche before midnight on that date.

She had collected her husband Tom from the pub in Aughivore when the jeep overturned outside the home of Patrick Mahon.

The householder told the court that he heard the bang of the vehicle crashing outside, after the 'Late Late' was over when he was on his way to bed,

He put the time at somewhere between 11.30 and 12 midnight on a cold and frosty night.

Garda Superintendent John McDonald suggested that Ryan Tubridy, pictured, comes off air at 11.45 p.m.

What was certain was that Patrick Mahon dialled 911 and that it was 11.55 p.m. when the ambulance service came through to Garda Brian Flanagan alerting him to the accident.

The times became important once the Garda suspected that Ms O'Connor was over the alcohol limit.

The law insists that a sample of breath, blood or urine must be taken within three hours of driving.

In this case, it was necessary to wait until after the driver had been cut from her stricken vehicle by firemen.

She was then brought to Wexford General where she was followed by Garda Darren McDarby and Doctor Stephen Bowe.

The doctor certified that he obtained the necessary sample of blood at 2.44 a.m. and analysis showed that the defendant was over the limit, as suspected.

If the TV programme really did end at 11.45, then she had a case to answer but the superintendent's suggestion was not back up by any documentary proof.

It was all too close for Judge Gerard Haughton to call and he dismissed the charge after hearing evidence at Wexford District Court: 'It is so tight I cannot be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt,' he concluded.

However, he was not so quick to dismiss a charge alleging that the defendant failed to provide a roadside breath sample.

She was asked to blow into the bag by Garda Flanagan while she sat in the back of the ambulance.

The court was told that she attempted to give the sample four times but without success.

The case was complicated by the fact that she was summonsed for an offence occurring on December 12 but it was after midnight before the bag was produced so the correct date had to be December 13.

The judge reserved his position, adjourning until May 17 to consider relevant case law.

Wexford People