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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Garda pleads not guilty to dangerous driving causing death of woman

Elizabeth Core was hit by a car while crossing the road in 2014.

File photo
File photo
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Images

A SERVING GARDA has gone on trial accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a woman four years ago.

Warren Farrell (35), who is based in Clondalkin, Co Dublin, was the driver of a marked patrol car that was responding to a panic button call at a Topaz garage when the car struck a pedestrian.

Elizabeth Core was crossing the road and appeared not to see the patrol car, James Dwyer SC, prosecuting, told the jury in his opening speech for the State.

The emergency lights of the patrol car were activated but the siren was deactivated in order to allow the garda passenger to communicate with “command and control”.

Dwyer told the jurors he expects they will hear evidence that Farrell applied the brakes and entered the bus lane. The patrol car mounted the footpath and the front left tyre burst.

The right-hand-side of the car hit Core and she was pushed onto the car, counsel said. He said onlookers will say they saw Core look left before the collision.

She was brought to hospital and received medical attention but was pronounced dead a short time later. A state pathologist concluded that her death was caused by head and chest trauma as a result of vehicular impact.

Patrick McGrath SC, defending, said that Garda Farrell accepts he was driving the patrol car. He said there is also no issue as to the cause of Core’s death.

Not guilty 

Farrell had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Core at Fonthill Road South on 28 August 2014.

Dwyer said it is the State’s case that the defendant drove in a dangerous manner and this caused Core’s death.

He said an accepted definition of dangerous driving is driving in a manner which a reasonably prudent person, having regard to all circumstances, would recognise as involving a direct, immediate and serious risk to the public.

He said there are some road traffic laws which don’t apply to gardaí acting in the performance of their duty, where such actions don’t endanger the safety of road users.

Counsel said dangerous driving is not one of these laws.

The trial will continue on Tuesday before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of six men and six women.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings. 

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Declan Brennan

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