Careless driving causing death accused found not guilty by direction of trial judge

A woman accused of careless driving causing the death of a motorcyclist has been found not guilty by a jury on the direction of the trial judge at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court.

Kelly Ann Roantree of Clounametig, Abbeydorney had pleaded not guilty to the offence at the R556 Abbeydorney to Tralee Road on July 14th, 2013.

29-year-old Mark Shanahan, a father-of-one from Liscullane, Lixnaw, lost his life when the motorcycle he was driving collided with Ms Roantree’s Kia Rio car.

Judge Tom O’Donnell directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict following an application made by defending counsel John O’Sullivan.

The judge said he wasn’t at liberty to tell the jury why except to say that it related to the strength of the prosecution’s case and the standard of proof that was required.

He said the jury may also be wondering why it had taken so long for the matter to proceed to trail when the accident had happened in July 2013.

He referred to a similar case in Co Kildare that had successfully been appealed but then referred to the Supreme Court to determine, and had only been clarified in June this year.

Judge O’Donnell said the trial had to await the Supreme Court outcome before it could go ahead.

34-year-old Kelly Ann Roantree wept as the verdict was returned.

Members of Mr Shanahan’s family were also in court.

Judge O’Donnell thanked the jury for their attendance and excused them from further duty for five years.