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29/07/2021

Longford grandmother told gardaí: "I didn't do anything wrong" after failing to remain at scene of Stonepark road collision

Longford Courthouse.

A grandmother who opted against staying at the scene of an accident told gardai she didn't believe she had done "anything wrong"

A grandmother who failed to remain at the scene of an accident after colliding with a car close to Stonepark National School last year told gardaí: “I didn't do anything wrong.”

Teresa Loughridge (63), 3 Pearse View, Longford pleaded guilty at a recent sitting of Longford District Court following an incident at Stonepark on September 19, 2020.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, told of how gardaí had been alerted to reports of a collision just after 4pm.

He said one of the vehicles failed to stop, prompting gardaí to carry out a search.

He added that when gardaí did eventually identify Ms Loughridge as the driver in question it was alleged she was did not think she had to remain at the scene.

Judge Seamus Hughes was told the incident had resulted in damage being caused to the front wing and headlamp of the injured party's car.

Under direct questioning from Judge Hughes, Ms Loughridge was asked why she opted against remaining at the scene.

“I thought I had ran over something on the road,” she said.

“I didn't realise I had hit her car. On my way back a car stopped in the middle of the road and a woman jumped out with a camera.

“I came back to my house and two guards pulled up outside my gate.

“I said: 'I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't realise I hit her car to be honest.”

In defence, solicitor Frank Gearty said the incident occurred after Ms Loughridge went to feed her son's cats.

“She does admit she drove too quickly around the corner,” he said, adding his client was someone with an “extremely nervous disposition.”

Mr Gearty added Ms Loughridge was a mother of two and grandmother of five.

He added she did not evade gardaí when details surrounding the incident was put to her.

Judge Hughes, prior to passing judgement, warned Mr Gearty how his client was open to “civil remedy”.

He said, despite the mitigation offered up to the court, he had been left with little option but to convict.

He consequently fined Ms Loughridge €200, giving her three months to pay.

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