herald

Saturday 14 December 2019

Damage in alleged bin truck rampage is still being costed

Accused Rune Skinnarland
Accused Rune Skinnarland

Gardai are continuing to count the cost of a road rampage after a businessman allegedly took a bin lorry and drove it into the door of a shop and an apartment building.

A court heard prosecutors are still preparing their case against Rune Skinnarland (55), and are waiting for full estimates for the thousands of euros worth of damage he is accused of causing.

Mr Skinnarland was in Dublin on a business trip from Norway when he allegedly took the lorry, and later woke up naked on a city centre street with no memory of the night's events.

Judge Bryan Smyth gave the State more time to prepare its case and adjourned it, for the directions of the DPP.

The accused is charged with unauthorised use of a truck belonging to a waste company, drink-driving in it and causing criminal damage to its passenger door, back bumper and front passenger side light.

He is charged with three other counts of criminal damage; to front electronic pedestrian gate at the entrance of an apartment building's lobby; the wooden frame of the front door of a Dealz shop; and a steel path bollard.

The offences are all alleged to have happened at Liffey Street Lower on September 4.

A garda sergeant told Dublin District Court a DPP file was almost complete but the gardai needed more time to get invoices for the damage. This was out of the garda's control, she said.

Defence barrister John Griffin said Mr Skinnarland had to travel from Norway and asked that he be excused from attending on the next date.

Judge Smyth adjourned the case to a date in February and said this was peremptory against the State, meaning if the prosecution is not ready to proceed, the case could be struck out.

The accused, who has not yet entered pleas and was not required to address the court, was remanded on continuing bail.

At an earlier hearing, the court heard the accused would say "something happened" on the night; he was out consuming alcohol, went back to his hotel and "next thing he wakes up naked on the street".

Shocked

Mr Skinnarland had had no previous issues with sleepwalking and "thinks his drink may have been spiked".

"He's shocked at what's alleged against him," Mr Griffin said.

"He remembers being arrested, but he went to bed and woke up naked on the street."

Judge Smyth asked what the accused's state of dress was when he was arrested.

"He had no clothes on, Judge," the prosecuting garda confirmed.

Mr Skinnarland was "a businessman and a family man" with no convictions and had been here on a business trip, the court had heard.

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