A FINE Gael TD has beaten a speeding rap – and four penalty points – after gardai carried out too much photocopying of a picture claimed to be of the TD's car registration.
At Ennis District Court, Joe Carey was acquitted of speeding on the outskirts of his native village of Clarecastle on October 14, 2013, and Judge Patrick Durcan struck out the summons.
In evidence, Garda Dermot O'Rourke said that he was operating a mobile speed detection van on October 14 at Ballaghafadda West. He observed a car exceeding the speed limit by driving at 71kph in a 50kph zone, and Mr Carey was the registered owner of the car.
Challenging the prosecution on Mr Carey's behalf, solicitor John Callinan pointed out that the space where the picture alleged to be Mr Carey's car registration should appear on the documentation was blacked out.
Garda O'Rourke said that the blacking out on the page had occurred because the page "went through the photocopier so many times".
In response, Judge Patrick Durcan said: "I'm going to strike it out."
Earlier, Mr Callinan said that Mr Carey was pleading guilty to a separate alleged speeding offence on August 25, 2013 – again at Ballaghafadda West outside Clarecastle.
Garda O'Rourke said that Mr Carey – who is assistant government chief whip – was driving at a speed of 73kph in a 50kph zone. Judge Durcan imposed a fine of €150.