Tuesday 24 April 2018

Driver is charged over death of toddler in Phoenix Park

Little Venessa Siatka
Little Venessa Siatka

Ken Foy Crime Correspondent

A FATHER-OF-ONE has been charged with dangerous driving causing the death of a toddler, as well as driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Little Venessa Siatka was a month short of her second birthday when she was allegedly hit by a car in the Phoenix Park near the Ashtown Gate on the Bank Holiday Monday on April 6 last.

Tragic Venessa Siatka
Tragic Venessa Siatka

Ciaran Lane (24) of Ashington Avenue, Cabra, appeared before Dublin District Court on Wednesday of last week in relation to the incident.

Mr Lane was charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Venessa Siatka on Easter Monday at Ratra Triangle in the Phoenix Park.

He was also charged with dangerous driving offences at Ashtown Grove, Cabra; Tesco car park, Maple Centre, Cabra; and at another location.

He also must answer charges of driving under the influence of an intoxicant at Ratra Triangle, Phoenix Park, and driving without car insurance.

Vanessa Siatka (22 months).
Vanessa Siatka (22 months).

Garda Eoghan O’Doherty, of Cabra Garda station, gave evidence of the charges in court last week.

No plea has yet been entered by the defendant. Mr Lane was granted bail under strict conditions by Judge Anthony Halpin.

He will appear again at the Criminal Courts of Justice on November 25, when he is due to be served with a book of evidence. The case is then likely to be sent to the Circuit Court.

In the aftermath of Venessa’s death, her heartbroken dad Lukasz (32) told the Herald that she “went to the angels” in her mother’s arms.

“She was a happy, healthy and smiley little girl. If I had a bad day in work it all disappeared when I walked through the door. She made our troubles disappear,” he said.

An inquest into Venessa’s death heard in May that she suffered severe head injuries in the incident in the Phoenix Park on April 6. She was 23 months old. She died in the early hours of the following morning at Temple Street Hospital.

Venessa’s father, Lukasz Siatka, originally from Poland, attended the brief hearing alone, with her mother remaining outside the courtroom.

He took to the witness stand to give evidence that following his daughter’s death at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, he identified her body to Garda Niall Phelan of Blanchardstown Garda Station.

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