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first_imgA potato merchant charged with driving whilst on a mobile phone has been cleared of the charge after telling a judge: “I was just picking at my tooth.”Joseph Lynch, (47), a well-known spud delivery driver from White Hill, St Johnston, contested the charge when he appeared before Glenties District Court.He also denied a breach of the peace relating to a bad-tempered verbal attack on a Garda sergeant. Just before 1pm on December 5 last year, Gda Sgt Vincent Muldoon and Garda Darragh Heaney were driving just outside Glenties when they were passed by a white lorry being drive by Lynch in the other direction.Gda Muldoon told the court that he and Gda Heaney saw Mr Lynch holding a mobile phone to his ear, turned their patrol car around and signalled to Mr Lynch to pull his lorry over.He approached the vehicle and told Mr Lynch he had been observed using a mobile phone whilst driving.“He was shouting and roaring in an aggressive manner and he wanted me to check his phone to show that he hadn’t been using it,” said Sgt Muldoon.“While he was pointing at me, he connected with my chest area on three occasions. I told him to calm down and there was no obligation to check any phone. The offence was holding a mobile phone while driving. You don’t need to be talking,” he said.Sgt Muldoon said that Lynch was roaring and shouting:  “You’re out to get me.”“He was completely out of control; he was behaving like a mad man,” the sergeant told the court.“He claimed he was taking something out of his tooth with a tacograph device,” he said.When giving his evidence, Mr Lynch insisted: “I had my hand on my face because I had something in my tooth.”He denied driving while holding a mobile phone and he also denied breaching the peace during his allegedly aggressive reaction to Gardai.“I was only trying to declare my innocence and pleaded with him (Sgt Muldoon) to examine my phone,” said Mr Lynch“I was very annoyed. I did say to him to see this is not fair. I went to Glenties garda station that day to report it. I was upset and I was just explaining my point,” he said.Robert McBrearty, a passenger  in lorry and who works for Mr Lynch, told the court that his boss used a hands-free kit in the lorry and hadn’t touched his phone whilst driving that day.During his evidence Gda Darragh Heaney said that Mr Lynch “appeared to be holding a mobile phone.”Judge Paul Kelly said based upon Gda Heaney’s comment, he dismissed the charge.He also said he was satisfied that that had been an animated exchange of views but that this did not constitute a breach of the peace.He dismissed both charges.However he did convict Mr Lynch of driving without proper number plates on his lorry – and he fined him €100.SPUD DELIVERY MAN CLEARED OF DRIVING WITH PHONE AFTER TELLING JUDGE: ‘I WAS PICKING AT MY TOOTH’ was last modified: October 28th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SPUD DELIVERY MAN CLEARED OF DRIVING WITH PHONE AFTER TELLING JUDGE: ‘I WAS PICKING AT MY TOOTH’last_img

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