The failure of a vehicle driver to stay at the scene of a fatal roadway mishap after driving over the victim’s body has actually been referred to as “wicked” by a judge.
Julieanne McMulkin (40) of Cullenbeg, Mountmellick, Co Laois appeared before Tullamore Circuit Wrongdoer Court on Tuesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to use support to a victim in order to prevent criminal or civil liability.
McMulkin, a single mom of 5, had also pleaded guilty to a second charge of failing to offer proper details to a garda under the Roadway Traffic Act 1961.
The court heard that McMulkin had driven over the body of Wayne O’Neill as it lay on the carriageway of the N78 Athy-Kilkenny road at Clonbrook, Crettyard, Co Laois on January 21 st, 2017, although she was not responsible for his death.
Counsel for the DPP, Will Fennelly BL, stated McMulkin had been on the method to collect her mom from a pub in Kilkenny when the occurrence happened shortly after 10 pm.
McMulkin briefly stopped her lorry after striking what she thought was a bag but continued her journey after seeing that it had been a guy in dark clothing.
The court heard that McMulkin’s teenage child, who was a passenger in the car, telephoned gardaí to signal them to the body on the road but they did not return to the scene right away as asked for.
A short time later on while a bus chauffeur and a first cousin of the victim were stopped at a scene, a 2nd automobile drove over Mr O’Neill’s body.
Mr Fennelly stated McMulkin drove past the accident area on her method back from Kilkenny but dropped her mom house before returning to the scene where she informed gardaí she had actually driven around the body but had not hit it.
The following day, however, she confessed that she had driven over Mr O’Neill after being cautioned when gardaí noticed a damage in the front of her car.
The court heard a forensic crash investigation discovered that there was no evidence that Mr O’Neill remained in a standing position when struck by McMulkin and she was not accountable for his death.
After being detained in May 2017, McMulkin stated she had “just stressed” as she had remained in a state of shock and had left the scene as she did not understand what to do.
Sgt Mark O’Connell said Mr O’Neill had actually been wearing dark clothes on a dark stretch of roadway as he was strolling to his home at Cloneen, Clough, Castlecomer Co Kilkenny.
In a victim effect statement, Mr O’Neill’s previous partner, Lisa Walsh O’Neill, explained how the couple’s young child, Cian, was having good friends over to their house for his very first pajama party on the night they found out he was dead.
” I will never ever understand why someone would not look for assistance but would leave the scene and keep denying duty for any wrong-doing,” stated Ms Walsh O’Neill.
Taking the witness stand, McMulkin issued an apology to the O’Neill household for having actually left the scene of the incident
Pleading for leniency, counsel for McMulkin, Padraig Dwyer SC, stated his customer experienced depression which was linked to being in an abusive relationship.
Judge Keenan Johnson stated it was a very terrible case which had actually left a substantial space in the lives of the victim’s family, while McMulkin’s actions on the night were “wicked”.
” It is challenging to understand how a driver who struck somebody pushing the road would not stay at the scene,” the judge remarked.
He adjourned sentencing in the case up until July 7th.