Surprise witness can give evidence

A surprise witness, who came forward during the trial of a taxi driver accused of careless driving after food critic Tom Doorley was knocked down, will be allowed give evidence.

Mr Doorley suffered two broken shoulders during the incident and Dublin District Court had already heard all the prosecution and defence evidence last month.

However, before a verdict was reached, a new witness came forward, having read about the case in the media.

Judge Miriam Walsh described the development as a “curveball” but when the case resumed yesterday, she noted the defence wanted to call the witness and the prosecution had no objection. He has already given a statement to gardaí.

Judge Walsh said she will hear the evidence. The trial will resume on June 21 and all parties in the case should attend, she said.

Taxi driver Mark Cruikshanks, aged 38, of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to careless driving at Fleet St on October 17, 2014. He claims Mr Doorley rushed out in front of his Toyota Avensis.

Mr Doorley earlier told Judge Walsh he suffered two broken shoulders when he was knocked down. He alleged he checked if any cars were coming before he crossed the Fleet St junction with Westmoreland St.

He told the court he lives in Cork but has a flat in Dublin. He said he went into the city centre for a business lunch at the Merrion Hotel, where he drank two average- sized glasses of red wine. Afterwards, he went to Trinity College to check some references for a book he was preparing, he said.

Later, at about 6pm, he went to another restaurant for another meal, at which he drank two small bottles of water. He then decided to get a taxi home and walked along Westmoreland St. At the junction with Fleet St, he said, he was on the outside flank of a number of people crossing the road.

“Due to a particular childhood experience I am extremely cautious crossing the road,” he told the judge.

He said he looked up Fleet St and confirmed nothing was coming. He said he proceeded to cross and recalled that, as he was about to step on to the pavement on the far side, he spun and ended up on a bonnet of a car.

He said he then landed on the ground on his back.

The court heard Mr Doorley was taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital and was given painkillers; he was subsequently treated at Blackrock Clinic. One shoulder was broken in three places and he also broke his other shoulder.

His left side was immobile for six months and he just recently had surgery, he said. Medical reports were furnished to the court.

Garda Declan Ryan has said it had been an extremely wet on the day in question and there would have been a lot of traffic. Though there is lighting in the area, it is not well lit, he said. Gda Ryan said Mr Cruikshanks was “very shaken up by what happened”.

The taxi driver told Gda Ryan he did not see the pedestrian and suddenly there was an impact on the front of his Toyota Avensis and he braked immediately. Passers-by helped the man on the ground and an ambulance arrived, the court heard.


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