Sunday 25 September 2016

Teen with Asperger's died in crash after Satanic bible row

Greg Harkin

Published 14/07/2016 | 08:21

A TEENAGE boy with Asperger’s Syndrome died in a road traffic collision after a row with his dad over a Satanic bible, a trial has heard.

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Tragic Callum Dale (13) died near his home in Buncrana, Co Donegal, as a result of the collision on March 13, 2014.

Rachel Fullerton (35), from Meentahalla, Illies, Co Donegal, has pleaded not guilty at Letterkenny Circuit Criminal Court to a single charge of causing the death of the boy by careless driving.

The frantic last minutes leading up to the collision were recounted in court as parents Peter and Deirdre described how they tried to save their son.

Peter Dale wept as he told how he had stood in front of Ms Fullerton’s oncoming car to protect the boy.

Mr Dale told the jury of seven women and five men that Callum – described as “super-smart” by his mother Deirdre – was inquistive. He said he had been prone to tantrums and these had increased as he refused to go to school in the months before the incident.

Mr Dale said he spent an hour each evening chatting to his son and on the night of the incident Callum had asked for three books – the Bible, Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.

The grieving father said he had told Callum he wouldn’t get him the satanic book. Callum, he said, reacted angrily to this.

“He just exploded,” said Mr Dale. “He had been calm and logical up to that point. He got up, threw a photo of himself on the floor. He pulled a chunk out of my hair and moved into the kitchen. He asked for a knife.”

He said it was usual to take Callum for a drive to calm him down when he had episodes like that but once he was outside he had gone off, armed with a poker. Mrs Dale followed the boy, with Mr Dale following soon afterwards.

All three ended up on the road in Cockhill, Buncrana.

Mr Dale said he pleaded with his son to move from the road, offering to buy him the book.

“But he wasn’t really listening any more,” said Mr Dale.

“The last few seconds I can’t remember any more. I was protecting my boy. I don’t remember being hit but I remember spinning in the air.

“Then I heard screaming and I managed to turn…I could see Callum under the car. I couldn’t stand because my leg was broken.”

Mr Dale said he had seen the car coming.

“It just seemed to be coming at full speed. It didn’t appear to slow down at all,” he said.

Earlier, Callum’s mum Deirdre described how her son was upset on the night. She said she would often drive around Buncrana in the car with Callum – sometimes at midnight – to help him calm down.

During the row at their home, she said Callum had shouted: “Give me a knife I’m going to kill you and kill myself.”

She said he had agreed to go in the car with her but as they went outside, he turned to her and said: “I lied.”

The couple and their son ended up on the main Buncrana to Illies road at Cockhill.

“I seen a car coming towards us and I stood in the road and I waved my hands,” said Mrs Dale.

“I was in the middle of the road….and the car just kept coming. There were no brakes, it didn’t slow down and I had to jump out of the way. I heard a bang.”

The trial continues.

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