A man has been charged with dangerous driving causing the death of GAA broadcaster Paudie Palmer.
Bohdan Bezverkhyi of Rigsdale House, Rigsdale, Ballinhassig, Co Cork was charged on Monday morning at Bandon Courthouse, with a book of evidence now to be compiled and with the case to be progressed to the Circuit Court.
Mr Bezverkhyi had previously had four charges put to him relating to the alleged hit and run at Dunkereen Cross in Innishannon in Co Cork on December 29th last.
Those charges include failing to offer assistance at the scene of a crash to the injured party, broadcaster Paudie Palmer; failing to report the occurrence; failing to keep his vehicle at the place of occurrence for a reasonable period; and failing to stop his vehicle. Mr Palmer, a highly regarded broadcaster and columnist, died from his injuries on January 8th.
Judge James McNulty was told that Mr Bezverkhyi, who is 33, now had the more serious charge of dangerous driving causing death preferred against him, in addition to a new charge of dangerous driving on the N22 the day before the incident which caused Mr Palmer’s death.
Det Gda Manus O’Donnell told the court that he had arrested and charged Mr Bezverkhyi on Monday morning at the courthouse and had cautioned him in relation to the new dangerous driving charge from December 29th last, and the charge of dangerous driving causing death, contrary to Section 53 of the Road Traffic Act, from the following day.
In response to the new dangerous driving charge Mr Bezverkhyi had replied: “I will act according to my solicitor’s advice.” The court heard he had made no reply to the other charge.
Sgt Paul Kelly told Judge McNulty that the Director of Public Prosecution had directed prosecution on indictment on a charge of dangerous driving causing death and had also consented to Mr Bezverkhyi being sent forward on a signed plea, should that arise. A book of evidence will now one prepared in respect of that charge.
Sgt Kelly said the state would be applying to have the other five charges – the four previous charges and the new charge of dangerous driving – remain in the District Court, with the intention of adding them to the indictment at a later stage.
However, Sgt Kelly said the book of evidence was not well advanced and he was seeking an adjournment until April 20th next.
Mr Bezverkhyi’s solicitor, Myra Dinneen, said there would be no bail application with regard to the new charges and she said since her client had been in custody since late December she hoped the book of evidence would be at an advanced stage.
Legal aid was granted with respect to the new charges and Ms Dinneen said the book of evidence would need to be translated for the benefit of her client. An interpreter was present in court and she told the judge that it would be preferable if it was translated into Russian for Mr Bezverkhyi, who is from the eastern part of Ukraine.
Sgt Kelly said the book of evidence would be prepared in English and then “every effort” would be made to provide a Russian language version.
Judge McNulty noted Mr Bezverkhyi’s previously recorded words of regret and contrition with regard to the incident that led to Mr Palmer’s death, recalling that Mr Bezverkhyi had previously said:“ I am sorry, very sorry, for what happened.”
Ms Dinneen said her client would need to see the evidence and statements in his own language and she consented to a continuing remand on the pre-existing charges until April 20th next in Bandon. On the new charges Mr Bezverkhyi was technically granted bail on his own bond of €100 but he will remain in custody until April 20 next.