Judge: Courtroom stinking of perjury

A judge said his courtroom was “stinking of perjury”.

Judge Patrick Durcan commented after 15 motorists suspected of speeding walked out of Ennis District Court without any sanction after the judge dismissed the speeding cases against them.

The majority of traffic court cases dismissed yesterday by Judge Durcan related to ‘Go Safe’ speed-van prosecutions. He dismissed them when the motorists swore they didn’t receive the fixed- charge penalty in the post.

The judge had to accept the testimony of the drivers as the State couldn’t prove the charges did arrive by post as the letters are not registered. He said: “This courtroom is stinking of dishonesty and is stinking of perjury today.”

After one motorist pleaded guilty and said she did get the fixed-charge penalty notice, Judge Durcan said she was honest and “wasn’t contaminated by the dozens of people who have perjured themselves in court today”.

Yesterday, 25 speeding cases were struck out including the 15 where motorists said they didn’t get the notice in the post. If motorists are convicted of speeding in the district court, they are fined and get five penalty points — which increases their insurance premium.

Conor Faughnan of the AA said: “I have complete and absolute sympathy for the judge in what he said. A smiling rogue is able to look the judge in the eye and say ‘the dog ate my homework’ and get away with it. That is just not fair on the rest of us.”

Judge Durcan said a solution is to send fixed charge penalty notices by registered post costing €6.25 each.


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