A LOCAL MAN has pleaded guilty to causing his brother’s death, after agreeing to a lesser charge.
Francis McCafferty (45) of Grout Hall, Pettigo was about to stand trial on multiple charges relating to the death of his brother Patrick almost five years ago.
He pleaded not guilty in July 2018 to the original charges of causing death by dangerous driving as well as while disqualified and without insurance, during an incident at Tullychurry Road, Boa Island on 5 January 2014.
However, at a recent appearance at Dungannon Crown Court, defence counsel requested McCafferty was rearraigned, and he pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death but guilty to careless.
He also accepted the two accompanying matters, and a prosecution lawyer said the pleas were acceptable.
The victim died after sustaining severe brain injuries and fractured ribs.
McCafferty was remanded on continuing bail to attend for sentencing in January.
He was originally remanded in custody following arrest in April, but later freed by the High Court after surrendering the deeds of his farm and a surety. He was also banned from applying for a passport.
The case took significant time to reach court due to a number of factors including McCafferty being released unconditionally by Garda.
Shortly after the crash a Ford Focus suspected of involvement was located by Garda close to McCafferty’s Pettigo home. He was arrested and during interview he stated that he was not driving after which he was released unconditionally.
But within 24 hours McCafferty presented himself voluntarily to Garda and accepted driving the vehicle, but emphasised the incident had been accidental. Nothing was said of the disqualified driving and no insurance.
He was released again without charge.
The case appeared to be dormant until April 2018, when McCafferty was arrested by PSNI in Strabane.
During interview he told officers, “Donegal Garda are corrupt.”
He was charged and brought to court, where bail was initially refused.
By the time of sentencing, five years will have passed since the fatal crash.
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