Wednesday 16 January 2019

Cafolla's drink-drive charge is struck out

A SOCIALITE and former top model has had a drink-driving charge against her struck out in court.

Bernie Cafolla (48) had been allegedly caught driving while over the legal alcohol limit during an incident in Ballsbridge last June.

Judge Ann Watkin struck the charge out at Dublin District Court after hearing Ms Cafolla, a well-known figure on Dublin's social scene, was pleading not guilty, but the prosecuting garda was not present.

The defendant, of Crinken Villas, Shankill was charged with drink-driving, contrary to Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act, 2010.

The offence was alleged to have taken place at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Pembroke Road in Dublin on June 4.


Ms Cafolla's case was one of the first to be dealt with when she appeared in court yesterday morning.

When it was called, a barrister for Ms Cafolla said she was seeking an adjournment as the defence was awaiting disclosure of a garda statement.

Previously, her solicitor Michelle Sheeran had asked for full disclosure in relation to the allegation against her client, including any statements made by gardai, as well as the custody record.

Judge Watkin said the defendant knew the case against her and asked if she was pleading guilty or not guilty. She said the gardai were only obliged to provide statements if the case was going ahead.

Counsel said Ms Cafolla was pleading not guilty.

The judge was then told the prosecuting garda was not in court.

She let the case stand in the morning's list but when it was called again, another defence barrister, Martin Dully, said the State was still not represented and asked the judge to strike the charge out.

Judge Watkin agreed after establishing that the accused had appeared in court on each occasion and no warrants had to be issued for her arrest.

"Thank you, judge," Mr Dully said.

Dressed in a black top and jacket and dark grey trousers, Ms Cafolla did not address the court during the brief hearing.

Ms Cafolla is a sister of one-time boss of Lillie's Bordello nightclub and now PR guru Valerie Roe and singer Patricia Roe, as well as Gillian Quinn, the wife of former Ireland football player Niall Quinn.

Ms Cafolla separated from her husband Lorenzo after nearly 25 years of marriage last year. The couple have two adult sons and a teenage daughter.


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