Friday 6 December 2019

Taxi driver fined after food critic Tom Doorley was knocked down and hurt

Tom Doorley leaving court. Photo: Courts Collins
Tom Doorley leaving court. Photo: Courts Collins

Tom Tuite

A taxi driver convicted of careless driving after food critic Tom Doorley was knocked down and seriously injured has been fined €500, but spared a road ban.

Mr Doorley suffered two broken shoulders during the incident, Dublin District Court heard. Mark Cruikshanks (38) of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to careless driving at Fleet Street in Dublin city centre on October 17, 2014. He claimed Mr Doorley rushed out in front of his Toyota Avensis, but he was found guilty yesterday by Judge Miriam Walsh.

The court heard he had one prior conviction, imposed in 2003, for driving without insurance - which resulted in a fine and a one-year road ban.

Defence solicitor Kieran Friel asked the judge to note that his client depended on his driving licence for work.

Fining him, the judge noted that in special circumstances the court had discretion not to impose a road ban and she said she would not disqualify him from driving.

Mr Doorley told Judge Walsh he suffered two broken shoulders when he was knocked down. He said he checked if any cars were coming before he crossed the Fleet Street junction with Westmoreland Street.

Mr Doorley, who appears as a resident critic in TV3's hit reality show 'The Restaurant', had gone into the city centre for a business meeting and lunch at the Merrion Hotel.

He drank two average-sized glasses of red wine. Afterwards, he went to Trinity College to check some references for a book he was preparing, he said. Later, at about 6pm, he went to another restaurant for another meal during which he drank two small bottles of water.

He then decided to get a taxi home and walked along Westmoreland Street. At the junction with Fleet Street he prepared to cross the road.

He said he looked up Fleet Street and confirmed nothing was coming. He added that he proceeded to cross when he spun and ended up on the bonnet of a car, before landing on the ground on his back.

The court heard he was taken by ambulance to St James's Hospital, and subsequently treated at Blackrock Clinic. One shoulder was broken in three places, the court heard.

Cruikshanks told the court the road was clear and he would have braked if he had seen Mr Doorley but "he rushed out in front of me".

Irish Independent

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