A charge of criminal damage against a Ballinrobe man accused at throwing an object at the windscreen of a relation’s van was dismissed when Judge Mary Devins ruled that the evidence was ‘circumstantial’.
Thomas Sweeney of 61, Church View, Ballinrobe was charged with criminal damage to a van which was driven by Patrick Sweeney, with an address at 19, Church View, Ballinrobe, on August 28 last.
Patrick Sweeney told the court that he was driving on Bridge Street in the town when he saw a red Transit van coming in the opposite direction. He said he then saw Thomas Sweeney throw an object at his windscreen which ‘shattered’ it.
He said he spoke to a witness on the side of the road who said it had nothing to do with her. The court was handed in an estimate of the damage for repair of the windscreen of €249.70. However defending solicitor Cathy McDarby questioned the fact that the actual cost of the repair, carried out by Patrick Sweeney’s insurance company, was not clear to the court and sought a dismissal.
However Judge Mary Devins said that while the estimate before the court was ‘meaningless’, she wanted to hear from the defendant.
Thomas Sweeney said that Patrick Sweeney’s evidence was ‘not true’, He said his window was down and he had his hand out the window but that he didn’t throw anything.
He told the court he knew Patrick Sweeney ‘very well’ as he is ‘a very close relative’. He said Patrick Sweeney’s brother had threatened him in February at a Confirmation service that he would ‘cut me up’, Thomas Sweeney told the court.
He added that he knows there are CCTV cameras in the town so ‘why would I throw something in front of the cameras’. Judge Mary Devins viewed CCTV footage but ruled that all the evidence before her was circumstantial and dismissed the charge.