A TEENAGE motorist who drove over another youth's arm, leaving it "smashed to pieces", has been cleared of charges of hit and run.
Michael Giles (19) ran over Niall Heaney in a moment of panic as his car was being attacked by a group of people during a fracas outside a west Dublin nightclub.
But he insisted he had no idea he had hit anyone as he drove off.
Judge David McHugh dismissed the case, saying he had no doubt Giles was unaware that he had reversed over Mr Heaney in the commotion as he fled.
Giles, of Castletown, Hartstown, had denied hit and run in the incident outside Heaven Nightclub, West End Village, Blanchardstown, on August 29, 2008.
Dublin District Court heard Giles and a friend had been assaulted at the scene by unknown people during an altercation. He panicked as several people kicked his silver Ford Fiesta and left the scene as quickly as he could.
Mr Heaney had approached to see what was happening when the rear door on the driver's of Giles' car struck him, knocking him to the ground.
He suffered the injury when the car reversed over his arm and he had to undergo emergency surgery that night at James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown.
Mr Heaney said in evidence he never got to find out what the altercation was about and he did not know who opened the car door that knocked him over. He did not realise his hand was broken until he went to put it in his pocket to get his mobile phone.
He was "in a state of shock" and got a taxi to hospital.
His friend Scott Emmett said: "He was wearing a T-shirt and you could see his arm was smashed to pieces. He had a double compound fracture to his wrist and forearm. He looked in an awful state".
He said he saw the car leave at high speed.
Giles, who had a full licence, said he was picking up a friend from the nightclub when a group of people started shouting and assaulted them both, punching them in the face.
People were kicking his car and he "panicked" and left as quickly as he could, "afraid of his life". He was completely unaware he had hit anyone.