A garda looking out the passenger door of a patrol van had such a clear view down on the driver of a car that not alone could he see him holding a phone but he allegedly saw YouTube on the screen of the phone.
That was the evidence from Garda Seán Hallissey at Cork District Court.
However, the motorist, Martin Maguire of Sunday School Lane, Blackpool, Cork, denied having the mobile phone in his hands.
“The only phone in the car, my little boy had it. I said to the guard I had no phone and he said, ‘I will see you in court’ and I said, ‘That is OK,’” Martin Maguire said.
The disputed incident occurred on September 14, 2020, when the defendant’s car was stopped in traffic at North City Link Road and the patrol van pulled up beside the car.
Today at Cork District Court Judge Olann Kelleher said: “There is a doubt. I give the benefit of the doubt and dismiss.” Garda Hallissey testified that he was in the passenger seat of the patrol van so he was above the car and by looking down he could see the phone.
“The phone was in his hand and he was on YouTube,” Garda Hallissey said.
Martin Maguire who was in the driver’s seat and his wife, Angela, who was in the front passenger seat, said their six-year-old son was watching a kids’ show on YouTube.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said to Martin Maguire: “Not only could he see the phone but he could see what you were doing on the phone.”
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, submitted at the end of the evidence that in most cases coming before the courts against motorists on mobile phones they are either on a call or reading or writing a text but he said, “Driving and watching YouTube would be a highly unusual activity.”