Charge struck out against driver who hit cyclist despite guilty plea

Posted on: February 21st, 2019

Gardai went ahead with an investigation into a driver who hit a cyclist on a Dublin street despite the very unusual aspects of the case; namely that the victim was never identified.

 

A judge has said the facts were proven in a case taken against a motorist who hit a cyclist in Dublin but struck it out.

The decision to strike out the charges, though the accused had pleaded guilty to them, meant the accused driver did not receive a criminal record.

While a strike out is not unusual in the courts, including in cases to spare a person before the courts of a criminal record, the details of the case are unusual.

The cyclist who was hit by the driver in her car got back on their bike and rode away. And she was never identified after the incident.

However, another cyclist reported the matter to the gardai. An investigation was begun and the driver was charged and brought before the courts.

But through the entire process, the cyclist knocked off their bike was never identified.

It is highly unusual for a case to ever result in a Garda investigation, let alone a court case, if the victim or injured party is not identified.

In order for an investigation to begin and charges to be brought, the victim also must usually agree to make a complaint and give evidence.

In the case before Dublin District Court student doctor Lana Alghabra (23) was charged with driving without due care at Leeson St Bridge in Dublin’s south inner city on December 11th, 2017.

She pleaded guilty to the charged but told the court she was blinded by the sun and accidentally hit a woman on a bike.

The cyclist got back up and rode off, apparently uninjured. However, another cyclist reported the collision and Ms Alghabra was and investigated.

Judge Anthony Halpin had previously ordered a restorative justice report from the Probation Service on the student doctor. He said it was one of the most positive he had ever seen.

The court was also told Ms Alghabra had donated €100 to charity, had completed a road safety course and had no previous convictions.

Her barrister also said that as a foreign national and student doctor, being convicted of an offence would have serious consequences for her career and her freedom to travel.

Despite the guilty plea and Judge Halpin describing it as a “facts proven” case, he struck out the charges.

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