'Try-on' €240k claim by wife of burglary thug is thrown out
A former model and wife of a man described in court as a notorious criminal has been told by a judge she was part of a contrived crash that led to claims by herself and three of her sisters-in-law for damages totalling €240,000.
Julieanne Joyce (23) is married to Patrick Joyce, who is serving a 14-year prison sentence for his part in an aggravated burglary in Co Tipperary that stunned the country.
Joyce and her three in-laws were ordered to pay legal costs - which will total close to €100,000 - after all of their claims were thrown out by Judge Terence O'Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court.
Judge O'Sullivan told Joyce her case against the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and a taxi driver had all the hallmarks of an exaggerated claim to maximise injuries.
He accepted that as the four women had sat in the taxi moaning and shouting following a set-up crash, firemen had been asked to remove the roof because of alleged spinal injuries.
When cross-examined by Conor Kearney, counsel for the taxi driver, all four told the court they had stepped out of the taxi after medics, as they were entitled to do, ruled out any possibility of spinal injury.
Joyce, of Edenmore Walk Apartments, Raheny, and her sisters-in-law Elizabeth Ward (28), of Moatview Avenue, Priorswood, Coolock; Kathleen O'Reilly (30), of Railway Court, Clongriffin; and Philomena Joyce (19), of Moatview Avenue, had each sued the defendants for €60,000 arising from a rear-ending on May 5, 2014, on Clonshaugh Road.
Joyce's sisters-in-law are sisters of Patrick Joyce.
All four said they had been out for dinner and while returning home in a taxi had been rear-ended, suffering whiplash and back injuries.
They said the taxi driver had pursued the untraced hit-and-run driver over traffic ramps, which had added to their injuries.
All of the plaintiffs corroborated each others' evidence of what had happened on the night and had denied they had been screaming and moaning, refusing to leave the taxi and had demanded that the roof be cut off.
Mr Kearney asked Joyce in cross-examination if she had ever been guilty of dishonesty.
When she said no, he produced evidence of "a high-level shoplifting blitz" she and another woman had conducted in Belfast two years ago.
Judge O'Sullivan, in dismissing all of the claims, said Joyce had been unfortunate in that a garda, who had taken an earlier complaint from a taxi driver who had thrown out four women after they complained his taxi had been hit from behind when it had not, was the same garda who afterwards dealt with the set-up incident.
He said the crash had been deliberately brought about by Joyce and the driver of the car behind.
"This accident has all the hallmarks of a try-on," the judge said.