Sunday 23 September 2018

Judge rules wife of 'notorious criminal' took part in 'set-up collision'

Claims by Julieanne Joyce and three of her sisters in law for damages totalling €240,000 were thrown out

Julieanne Joyce, of Edenmore Walk Apartments, Raheny, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts after a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts
Julieanne Joyce, of Edenmore Walk Apartments, Raheny, Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts after a Circuit Civil Court action. Pic: Collins Courts

Ray Managh

A former model, and wife of a man described in court as a notorious criminal, has been told by a judge she was part of a contrived accident which led to claims by herself and three of her sisters in law for damages totalling €240,000.

Julieanne Joyce (23), whose husband Patrick Joyce is serving a 14-year prison sentence for his part in an aggravated burglary that stunned the country at the time, and her three in-laws were ordered to pay legal costs which will total close on €100,000 after all of their claims were thrown out by Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge O’Sullivan told Joyce her case against the MIBI and a taxi driver had all the hallmarks of an exaggerated claim to maximise injuries. He accepted that as the four women had sat in the taxi moaning and shouting following a set-up collision firemen had been asked to remove the roof because of alleged spinal injuries.

When cross-examined by Conor Kearney, counsel for the taxi driver, all four told the court they had stepped out of the taxi after medics, as they were entitled to do, ruled out any possibility of spinal injury.

Barrister Michael Murray, who appeared with Stephen Mackenzie Solicitors for the MIBI, told Joyce that her husband was a notorious criminal serving a 14-year jail sentence for his part in an aggravated burglary in County Tipperary in which a couple had been put through a terrifying ordeal.

Joyce, of Edenmore Walk Apartments, Raheny, Dublin, and her sisters-in-law Elizabeth Ward, (28) of Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, Coolock, Dublin; Kathleen O’Reilly, (30) Railway Court, Clongriffen, Dublin, and Philomena Joyce (19) of Moatview Avenue, had each sued the defendants for €60,000 arising from a rear-ending on May 5, 2014 on Clonshaugh Road.

Joyce’s sisters-in-law are sisters of Patrick Joyce. All four told the court they had been out for dinner and while returning home in a taxi had been rear-ended, suffering whiplash and back injuries. They said the taxi driver had pursued the untraced hit-and-run driver over traffic ramps which had added to their injuries.

All of the plaintiffs corroborated each other’s evidence of what had happened on the night and had denied they had been screaming and moaning, refusing to leave the taxi and had demanded that the roof be cut off the taxi.

Mr Kearney, who appeared with Delahunty O’Connor Solicitors for the taxi driver and AXA Insurance, asked Joyce in cross-examination if she had ever been guilty of dishonesty. When she said no he produced evidence of “a high level shoplifting blitz” she and another woman had conducted in Belfast two years ago.

Joyce, who had also lived at other addresses including Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin, said she had been charged with shoplifting in Belfast and had been banned from going into Belfast city centre following shoplifting charges relating to House of Frazer, Lifestyle Sport, River Island, Marks and Spencer, Next, Gap, Top Shop, Disney, Mamas & Papas and JD Sports.

Judge O’Sullivan, in dismissing all of the claims, said JulieAnne Joyce had been unfortunate in that a garda, who had taken an earlier complaint from a taxi driver who had thrown out four women after they complained his taxi had been hit from behind when it had not, was the same garda who afterwards dealt with the set-up accident. A second taximan had been hailed to lift them.

The judge said the accident had been set up, contrived and deliberately brought about by Joyce and the driver of the car behind. 

“This accident has all the hallmarks of a try-on,” Judge O’Sullivan said.

Colm Featherstone, Fraud Investigation Manager with AXA, stated afterwards that since January this year the courts had dismissed a total of 27 claims brought against the insurance company.

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