Woman told gardaí she was in struck car

A woman who sued for compensation after a motorist drove into her parked car told gardaí who arrived at the scene that she was not in the car at the time but went to her local Garda station four days later and said she had been in it.

Robert O’Brien, of 4 Millfield Cottages, Red Forge Rd, Cork, admitted in the civil action that he drove recklessly on the day and crashed into the rear of the parked car. However, he said Shauna Hurley, of 3 Dunmanus Crescent, Knocknaheeny, Cork, was not in the car at the time. He said nobody was in it.

When gardaí arrived to investigate, Ms Hurley told them she was at home when she heard a bang and went out to see that somebody had smashed into the back of her car and driven off.

However, four days later, she and her mother Ella went to Gurranabraher Garda Station where Shauna said that what she told gardaí on the day of the accident was wrong and that in fact she had been in the car at the time that O’Brien drove into it.

She explained to the gardaí and explained again at Cork Circuit Court yesterday that she initially claimed she was not in the car because it was not taxed and she thought she would get into trouble over the tax.

Defence barrister Emmet O’Brien said in cross-examination: “You told a lie to the gardaí, why would we think you are not lying today?”

Ms Hurley replied: “Why would I go through all the photographs, the doctors, the hospitals and the solicitors, do you think I would waste my time. I am working. I am not a liar, like. I told the guards I was not in the car because I had no tax.”

Mr O’Brien said: “There is a benefit in you changing your story, you are likely to get compensation.”

Neighbour Lorraine O’Gorman said she found Ms Hurley sitting in the car crying after the other car crashed into it.

Mr O’Brien admitted he drove into the back of car because his driving was reckless. His insurance paid the repair bill of approximately €1,400.

He said nobody was in Ms Hurley’s car at the time. “It was a glance but a bit of a crash as well. I don’t think there was supposed to be any cars parked there in the first place.”

Mr O’Brien said his wife, Mary-Lou Cash, got out of car to see if everything was OK and found nobody in the car. Mr O’Brien and Ms Cash both testified that the only reason they left was because teenagers started throwing rocks at their car after the crash.

There were heated exchanges from the public gallery when Ms Cash was in the witness box making allegations that people were lying.

The defendant, who was in the gallery at the time, had to be removed from the courtroom.

Judge Donagh McDonagh described the defendant’s evidence as poppy-cock. “I don’t believe one word from the defendant.”

He said Mr O’Brien was liable for the accident. Lawyers agreed settlement terms on that issue outside the courtroom and asked that the case be struck out when this agreement had been reached.

More in this section