Not enough evidence to convict
Published 04/06/2014 | 05:22
District Court judge David Kennedy ruled that there was not evidence before him to convict a man on trespass and public intoxication charges.
Defendant Alan Warner (23), of 30 Cois Cairn, had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The allegation was of drinking around a bonfire in Cois Cairn on April 19 last year, before hiding under a car.
Garda Paul Byrne of Shankill Garda Station said that he was the observer in a patrol car that night. They received a call at around 11.45 p.m. that there was a bonfire on the green of the estate, with several youths drinking around it.
'We drove in and saw the bonfire with four or five youths around it. They scattered in different directions. My colleague followed one into a cul-de-sac. I exited the patrol car and started searching gardens. I found the accused lying underneath a car in a driveway,' he said.
Garda Byrne said he recognised Warner and believed he was drunk. He was arrested and brought to Shankill Garda Station. He was released into the custody of his mother at 12.35 a.m.
'Are you sure this was the same youth that was at the bonfire?' said solicitor Joe Maguire.
'My client will say he had nothing to do with those youths. He will say he had been in a different part of the estate. He saw this going on and was keeping away from it. He was hiding under the car until all of it had passed over.'
Mr. Maguire added that the person living in the house where the defendant hid was a relative. She had written a letter saying that she did not report him for trespassing.
Mr. Maguire added that his client had no drink taken that night.
'There is no need to call Mr. Warner,' said Judge David Kennedy. 'There is not enough evidence to convict.'.