A personal trainer who drove off after rear ending another vehicle has been fined €400 at Swords District Court.
Darragh Walsh (27) initially stopped after he hit the vehicle, put his foot out of the car as if to get out before changing his mind and driving off, the court heard.
The defendant, with an address at Mourne Close, Skerries, pleaded not guilty to hit and run at Skerries Road, Rush on October 24, 2019. He claimed he was not at the scene when the accident occurred and was not driving the vehicle at the time.
Judge Gerard Jones convicted Walsh after hearing evidence from the victim, who gave gardaí the registration of the vehicle that had struck her and identified the defendant in court.
The woman told the court she was coming back from Skerries and had indicated to turned into the Clifflands estate when she heard a “thud” and felt herself thrown forward and back. She said she noticed a person had been trying to undertake her on her left hand side and had collided with her. The woman said she indicated for the driver to pull in, which he did. The man then opened the side door and “put his leg out as if to get out”. However, she said he then turned to look at her and “in a split second” he drove off. The injured party said she noted the registration of the Black Audi A4 once she realised he was going to drive away.
The solicitor for the defence said Walsh would maintain that he was in Dublin City Centre that day and was not driving at the time of the accident. He put it to her that she was mistaken in her recollection of the car and if it was that car then Walsh was not the driver. However, the injured party refuted this and said she was “certain” that Walsh was the person who was driving the car.
A witness went to the aid of the injured party said she had been pulling out from the estate onto the Skerries Road at around 6.20pm. She said there was a car waiting to pull in when another car went to undertake it and hit the vehicle. The woman said the driver of the car that was trying to undertake then pulled in, opened the door, put his leg out and then got back into the car and drove away.
Garda Conall Shaw said the injured party reported the incident to him and he contacted the owner of the vehicle to come into the station to make a statement. Garda Shaw said Walsh accepted that he was the registered owner of the vehicle and told him he was driving on the date in question but denied he was involved in the incident and refused to come in to make a statement.
In his evidence to the court, Walsh said on the day in question he was in the city centre taking part in a course after which he met his brother for coffee and shopping. He said he then got the train home at about 6.30pm or 7pm. The defendant said he normally parks his car about five minutes from the station in a local housing estate. He said when he got back he drove home from the station. The accused said he couldn’t have been involved in the accident as he was only leaving Dublin around the time it was said to have occurred.
When the state solicitor put it to him that he was being “disingenuous” and that he was the driver on that evening and he did hit the other car, Walsh denied this. The defendant’s brother, Andrew Walsh, also gave evidence of spending the afternoon with his brother in Dublin before the pair got the train home at “around 6.30pm or 7pm”.
Convicting Walsh, Judge Gerard Jones said the injured party’s evidence had been “completely clear”.
Judge Jones fined the defendant €400 and directed that he pay medical expenses of €180 to the injured party.