Man fined for driving while holding a mobile phone in Tullamore claimed he wasn't on that street
A MAN who pleaded not guilty to holding a mobile phone while driving, said he wasn’t on the street on the date the offence was alleged to have occurred.
Before the court was Martin Maloney (69) Convent Road, Tullamore, who in his evidence said that on December 28, 2019, the Tullamore Tractor Run took place and he had avoided Store Street because of the event.
Garda Jude Doyle, told the court he had observed Mr Maloney holding his mobile phone while he was on patrol at Store Street. Garda Doyle said Mr Maloney was driving a Toyota Jeep.
Barrister Suzanne Dooner asked Garda Doyle if he was aware that there was a tractor run in the town that day which attracted up to 400 vehicles. Garda Doyle said he couldn’t remember but he accepted that the event is normally held around that time.
Ms Dooner put it to Garda Doyle that on the day in question the jeep was covered in muck and he would not be able to see Mr Maloney.
In his evidence Mr Maloney presented pictures of his jeep to Judge Catherine Staines. He said he came from fixing a muck spreader on his farm at Killeigh and the jeep was covered in muck. He said he was travelling to the vet’s office at St Brigid’s Place in Tullamore. He had travelled over the Whitehall Bridge and onto St Brigid’s Place and had gone back out the same way.
Mr Maloney said he hadn’t received any fine in the post and it may have gone to another man with the name Malone who lived in a block of flats called Canal Court also at Convent Road.
Ms Dooner produced a map which was viewed by Judge Staines who noted that St Brigid’s Place was an annex of Store Street. She asked Mr Maloney if there was a car park outside the vet’s office to which Mr Maloney responded that there was not.
Judge Staines said the vet’s office was on an intersection of Store Street and Benburb Street.
Having heard the evidence she said Garda Doyle was ‘’very certain’’ Mr Maloney was holding a mobile phone.
She fined the defendant €300. She fixed recognisance on his own bond of €100 if he wished to appeal.
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