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Judge unimpressed by man who left scene after knocking down pedestrian

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A DISTRICT Court judge criticised a father of eight for failing to stay at the scene of an accident when his car collided with a pedestrian who was crossing the street in Ballinrobe.
Martin Sweeney (63) of 42 Abbey Street, Ballinrobe, appeared before last week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court, where he was charged with failing to report an accident and failing to give appropriate information after hitting a pedestrian on Chapel Lane, Ballinrobe, on November 19, 2016.
Inspector Gary Walsh informed the court the incident occurred at 7.15pm when Mr Sweeney’s vehicle collided with a pedestrian who was crossing at a junction. The pedestrian fell to the ground, and Mr Sweeney got out of his vehicle to see if he was okay.
Insp Walsh said Mr Sweeney satisfied himself that the pedestrian was okay and drove off. The pedestrian reported the incident to the gardaí and later went to hospital, but did not suffer any significant injury.
Ms Augustine Touhy, solicitor for Mr Sweeney, said her client did stop to see if the injured party was okay. She said the pedestrian gave a vague gesture to say he was okay and Mr Sweeney went about his business. She said Mr Sweeney had been fully co-operative with gardaí when they spoke to him about the incident.
However, Judge Conal Gibbons said he was not impressed with Mr Sweeney’s behaviour on the evening. He said that even though the pedestrian said he was okay, the onus remained on the driver to report the matter and to give the pedestrian his name and telephone number.
Judge Gibbons said he was troubled by the fact that Mr Sweeney behaved in such a manner, adding that common sense should have told him to take action. He was informed by Insp Walsh that there was no mandatory disqualification for the offence. Judge Gibbons fined Mr Sweeney €250.

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