Leitrim man knocked woman down in Longford town and left the scene

Court hear's defendant panicked

Longford Leader

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A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Road Traffic Act was disqualified from driving and fined €355.

James Yorke, Eastbarrs, Glenfairne, Co Leitrim appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with driving without insurance; careless driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident at Main Street, Longford last year.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Garda Martin McGowan said that on the date in question the defendant was driving through Longford town when he collided with a lady who was crossing the street.

The Garda said it was 11:40am and he was directing traffic in the area when suddenly, he heard a bang.

“I had traffic stopped when I heard a bang behind me,” Garda McGowan continued.

“I turned around and went over to speak to Mr Yorke who was in a total panic over the situation; I tried to get him to calm down so that I could take a statement from him.”

The local garda went on to say that he then tended to the injured lady.

The court heard that she was subsequently taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar in the aftermath of the accident and released the following day.

“When I turned back around, Mr Yorke was gone from the scene,” said Garda McGowan before pointing out that he believed the defendant left because he was in a panic over hitting the lady.

“He really was in a total panic over the situation,” the Garda told Judge Hughes.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Carol Daly said that her client had been a heroin addict but was clean now for the last three months.

“He was clean at the time of this incident, but unfortunately he went into absolute panic and that is what happened; why he left the scene,” she added, before pointing out that the defendant was a young man who was endeavouring to get his life back on track.

“He is very remorseful over what happened and contacted the garda station the very next day so that the matter could be dealt with.

Garda McGowan then confirmed to the court that the defendant contacted Longford Garda Station on the morning following the incident and made a full statement to members.

“He has also written a letter of apology to the lady,” he continued.

“Mr Yorke also sent a Christmas card and present to her last Christmas.

“I have no doubt that he is extremely remorseful.”

During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said he was glad to hear that the lady had recovered from the incident.
He also highlighted that the matter before him was “most unfortunate”.

The Judge subsequently disqualified Mr Yorke from driving for a period of two years.

He also fined the defendant €250 for driving without insurance and included a further fine of €105 for failing to remain at the scene.

The matter was subsequently brought to a conclusion.