Woman not guilty over boy’s death

A woman who knocked down a child after he suffered an angry episode due to his Asperger’s Syndrome told his family she will think of them every day of her life.

Callum Dale, 13, died after he was struck by a car being driven by Rachel Fullerton, in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in 2014.

Ms Fullerton, 35, went on trial at Letterkenny Circuit Court charged with careless driving causing the death of the boy. However, after hearing almost two days of evidence on the case, Judge John O’Hagan yesterday directed the jury to find the accused not guilty.

Ms Fullerton, from Meentahalla, Illies, Buncrana, broke down in tears at the decision. Through her counsel, Richard Lyons, she said she wanted to apologise to Deirdre and Peter Dale and their family for Callum’s tragic death.

He said: “There will not be a day in her life that the Dales will not be in her thoughts and prayers.”

Judge John O’Hagan replied: “I’m sure the Dales will appreciate that.”

Judge O’Hagan earlier told the jury that in order to convict in this case “a jury would have to be satisfied there was intentional or reckless behaviour in this lady’s mind and there is absolutely no evidence in this case ”.

The dead boy’s mother, Deirdre, had told the trial how she desperately waved her hands in a bid to stop a car hitting her son seconds before he was killed.

Ms Dale told how her son was a very smart boy and was “probably smarter than you”, as she pointed to presiding Judge John O’Hagan.

However, due to his illness, he was prone to having “eruptions” which would see him lose his temper. The court heard Callum suffered one of these eruptions on the night he was killed on March 13.

Callum and his father Peter had a disagreement and the boy stormed out of his home at 10, Riverdale Park, Buncrana.

Subsequent investigations after the incident had shown the accused woman had not been drinking, had not been using her mobile phone, and was not speeding before the accident.


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