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Error on doctor’s certificate sees 33-year-old man cleared of drug driving offence


Dundalk Court.

Dundalk Court.

Dundalk Court.


A 33-year-old motorist has had drug driving and other alleged offences dismissed because a different name appeared on a doctor’s cert to that on charge sheets.

Gerard Pumford, Drumcar, Dunleer, was accused of, on 25 September 2021 at Dublin Road, Mooretown, Dromiskin, possession of 14 Benzodiazepine tablets, dangerous driving, drug driving, no insurance, failing to produce insurance, driving without a licence and failing to produce a licence.

Counsel pointed out that the doctor’s cert said ‘William Plumford’.

Gda Kristopher Curran testified that on the day in question he got a report of a vehicle having been involved in a minor collision at the Fairways Hotel, Dundalk.

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While driving on the old Dublin Road he saw a Skoda Rapid matching the description. It was driving relatively slowly and ‘appeared difficult to control’.

Gda Curran said he stopped this car at 9.50pm. The front left tyre was off the rim and severely damaged.

There was a strong smell of an intoxicant from the vehicle and the driver appeared to have difficulty conversing with him. Mr Pumford was arrested and taken to Dundalk Garda Station.

An oral fluid test at the station proved positive for cocaine. A doctor was called to take a blood sample.

Gda Curran said the doctor’s cert had ‘William Pumford’ on it and that the defendant provided the doctor with an incorrect name which the officer believed was his father’s name.

The witness said he didn’t hear him give the name ‘William Pumford’ (to the doctor). He gave ‘Gerard Pumford’ at the roadside.

The person he arrested that night was in court, but the cert before the court was in the name of ‘William Pumford’.

Gda Curran told counsel that he personally gave the name ‘Gerard Pumford’ to the doctor.

‘If I had heard the name being given incorrectly (by the defendant) I would have addressed it.’

Judge McKiernan remarked that Gda Curran was ‘very honest’.

She had no option but to dismiss the charges.