Sunday 11 December 2016

Driver brought to court for eating a toffee bar - after 'garda mistook it for mobile phone'

Published 18/03/2016 | 14:33

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A motorist was brought to court for using a mobile phone while driving - despite insisting to a garda that it was in fact a toffee bar in his hand.

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The man was pulled over while driving as a Road Traffic Corps unit believed they had seen a mobile phone in his hand.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Liveline, the caller, who went by the name Tom, claimed he didn't even have a mobile phone in the car at the time.

He also alleged he insisted on the garda searching his person and car, but the garda refused the offer.

"I requested him to search me, he said no, I didn't even have a mobile phone on me at the time," Tom said.

Tom said he was eating a toffee bar at the time that he had just picked up at a local shop.

"He didn't take it as evidence. He refused to search me and the car or even ring the mobile phone.

"I had to bring my license and insurance to the garda station and I showed them the calls record on my phone.

"The garda just said to me, 'I saw what I saw'.

"I got a letter in the post with three penalty points and a fine, I refused to pay it."

Tom said he requested advice from his solicitor who told him he would receive a court summons to the district court if he refused to pay the fine.

"I said that's fine," Tom continued.

"And I got the summons to go to court. The morning of the hearing, they decided to pull it and they didn't go ahead with it."

Tom said his legal fees for the solicitor amounted to €300.

Asked to advise another caller, Esther, who found herself in a similar situation, he said:"It's up to each individual, if she wasn't using the phone, she wasn't, she knows herself.

"I was adamant I wasn't going to pay.

"I do think, in fairness, a reasonable judge would have seen that I was genuine."

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