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Driver drank for hours before running over cyclist - but disappeared Down Under rather than face justice

A man who hit and killed a cyclist before skipping the country to live in Australia was yesterday found found guilty of dangerous driving leading to the death.

Shane Fitzgerald was driving his Toyota Land Cruiser near Killarney almost three years ago when he struck and hit father of four Paudie O’Leary near Killarney on July 1st 2012.

The vehicle has never been found, but the following day Fitzgerald left the country for the UK, before travelling on to Australia, where he got a job in the concrete industry.

In 2013 federal agents in Australia questioned him, during which he said he sold his car to fund his trip.

Federal agent David Blockley said Fitzgerald told him it was “immaculate” when he sold it, according to the Irish Times.

But the jury delivered a unanimous verdict after three hours of deliberation at the end of a four-week trial at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee.

They were shown more than three hours of CCTV footage of Fitzgerald drinking in various bars before driving on the day of the collision.

Fitzgerald, who has no previous convictions, has been remanded on bail to April 22nd for sentencing. The maximum sentence is 10 years.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

7 comments

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notfastenough [3728 posts] 2 years ago
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He thought he'd gotten away with that one... Good.

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Gus T [321 posts] 2 years ago
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British juries please note  14

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nowasps [519 posts] 2 years ago
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Something awry here... He was successfully prosecuted for killing someone with a car???

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K Stand Ken [59 posts] 2 years ago
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Gus T wrote:

British juries please note  14

And also, British police and the Crown Prosecution Service also please note.

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MercianPro [4 posts] 2 years ago
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A lot of Irish cyclists are closely watching this story. The victim, Paud O'Leary, was out on an early morning training run in preparation for the Ring of Kerry, one of Ireland's longest and most popular charity Sportives.

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stonechat [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Amazed he got bail after running away to Australia

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I love my bike [211 posts] 2 years ago
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Compare this to the Michael Mason death, where the driver didn't even leave the street where the collision happened, and still got away with it!