« BackDriver who admitted perverting the course of justice in fatal road accident sentenced at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court

A driver, who admitted perverting the course of justice in a road accident in which a cyclist lost his life,  has been given a three year sentence, suspended for three years.

Tralee Courthouse

Rabiul Alam of Countess Grove, Killarney told the garda at the scene, he had not been in collision with the 19-year-old’s bike.

Tralee Circuit Criminal Court had already been told that the 39-year old taxi driver said another car travelling immediately behind him  was the vehicle which had struck the cyclist.

Judge Tom O’Donnell noted that the accident had happened in 2011 and it had taken “an enormous amount of time” to be finalised.

Rabiul Alam told the garda at the scene near a junction on the main Killarney to Dingle Road where Shane Courtney died, that he hadn’t been in collision with the teenager’s bike and that another car had struck the cyclist.

That was on August 26th, 2011 at Knoggogue, Aghadoe and Mr Alam signed his statement in the patrol car.

But seven days later, he went to Killarney garda station to correct his “untruths” and to say his vehicle was the one in collision with Mr Courtney in the first place.

Gardai forensically examined the matter and no prosecution regarding the collision arose.

Judge Tom O’Donnell, who expressed his condolences to the Courtney family, said: “This is a deeply distressing case compounded by the actions of the accused, and his efforts to blame a third party were  reprehensible.”

But he said the offence Mr Alam was charged with was “not a driving offence per se but something that arose in the aftermath of this tragic accident.”

Tom Rice, prosecuting,said  the Courtney family wished to make a victim impact statement but were precluded from doing so by legislation “because of the nature of the charge.”

Mr Alam had been travelling on the Dingle to Killarney Road on  August 26th, 2011 at around 9 pm.

Shane Courtney of Faha, Killarney, had to the best of garda knowledge, intended turning right at a junction from the minor Aghadoe road onto the main Dingle road when he collided with Mr Alam’s car which was travelling east towards Killarney, prosecutor Tom Rice had outlined.

Mr Alam, who’s originally from Bangladesh, was a hard working man who’d no previous convictions, the judge noted.

He’d panicked on the night, senior counsel Anthony Sammon had suggested.