Saturday 23 February 2019

Postman with eye condition guilty of causing fatal crash

David Byrne was found guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
David Byrne was found guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A postman has been convicted of dangerous driving causing the death of a pensioner in Dublin almost two-and-a-half years ago.

David Byrne (42), of Sunnyhill, Castlemartin Lodge, Kilcullen, Co Kildare, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Patricia Dunne (70) at Collins Avenue East, Killester, on October 16, 2015.

He also pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dishonestly inducing the National Driving Licence Service to issue him with a driving licence on September 30, 2014.

He had further denied making a false or misleading statement while taking out insurance on September 16, 2015.

The jury took almost three-and-half-hours on day seven of the trial to return a majority verdict to the dangerous driving charge.

The jurors also returned unanimous guilty verdicts to the remaining counts.


Judge Patricia Ryan remanded Byrne on continuing bail and adjourned sentencing to May 4.

She ordered a victim impact report for that date.

The trial previously heard Ms Dunne was walking home at around noon and was crossing a busy road when she was killed.

A van slowed to allow Ms Dunne to cross, but a car driven by Mr Byrne hit her and she was "flung up in the air" before the car came to a stop.

Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL, prosecuting, told the jury that Byrne suffered from Usher Syndrome Type Two, a condition which causes difficulty seeing in low light and loss of peripheral vision.

A clinical ophthalmologist confirmed that Byrne had been diagnosed in December 1997.

"For Mr Byrne to drive with that condition was driving in a manner which was, or was likely to be, a danger to the public," Ms O'Sullivan said.

"That dangerous driving caused the death of Ms Dunne."

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