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Sunday 22 October 2017

Hit-and-run taxi driver spared driving ban after injuring cyclist

Stock photo
Stock photo

A taxi driver who knocked a cyclist off her bike, injuring her, made an "incredibly stupid" decision when he left the scene, a court heard.

Patrick McGovern (53) clipped the cyclist's handlebars then drove off less than half-a-minute after she fell to the ground.

Judge Bryan Smyth spared him a driving ban after hearing the victim injured her arm but had since recovered and was willing to accept €500 in compensation.

The judge fined the accused €400.

McGovern, a father-of-three from Park View Avenue, Harold's Cross, pleaded guilty to careless driving and hit-and-run by leaving the scene of an accident without giving appropriate information.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Lincoln Place, Dublin 2, on April 12 last year.

Gda Shane Hickey told the court the accused was driving his Skoda taxi at 10.30am in a bus lane.

There was a truck on his right-hand side as he was overtaking the cyclist and he clipped the side of her handlebars.

Physiotherapy

This caused her to come off her bicycle and fall on to the pavement, where she sustained an injury to her arm and elbow.

She received physiotherapy for four months after the accident and made a full recovery.

McGovern remained at the scene for 15 to 20 seconds but then left and did not give appropriate information, the garda said.

He was tracked down by gardai in the subsequent investigation and co-operated with them.

The defendant had no previous convictions of any kind.

CCTV footage showed there was a slight movement to the right by the cyclist, but Mr McGovern accepted he was in the wrong, his solicitor Michael French said. The garda said there had been a pothole and the cyclist "did move out" to a small extent to go around it.

The accused admitted he should have been more attentive and that he "stupidly" drove off, said Mr French.

"He is fully aware that he should have waited, but I believe he has learned his lesson," added Mr French.

McGovern was aware of the seriousness of what had happened and apologised wholeheartedly.

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