General — 08 November 2017 — by Roy Davis (freelance reporter)
Irish businessman charged for near-fatal collision

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 6, 2017–Con Murphy, 36, an Irish national who was involved in a traffic collision that occurred early Friday morning, November 3, was charged with 2 minor traffic offences when he was brought to court today before Magistrate Stephanie Gillett. The charges she read to him were for driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and driving a motor vehicle while not being the holder of a valid driver’s license.

Murphy pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was told by the prosecutor that a charge of failure to provide specimen was withdrawn by the police. The prosecutor objected to bail on the ground that Murphy is not a Belizean and consequently, he is a flight risk. The prosecutor also said that two persons were injured in the accident and further charges are imminent.

In response, Murphy’s attorney, Dickie Bradley, submitted that Murphy has business ties to Belize because he has several investments and he is the father of a daughter born in Belize. Bradley also submitted that Murphy has permanent resident status in Belize and that he was forcefully removed from the hospital by the police after a CAT-scan was done on him and the doctor advised that a surgeon was needed to read the CAT-scan.

Magistrate Gillett did not uphold the objection to bail.She noted that the more serious charge would have been failure to provide specimen and the police saw it fit to withdraw that charge. She offered Murphy a bail of $800 plus one surety of the same amount. The bail was granted on the condition that Murphy surrenders his travel document and that he does not apply for any travel document without the court’s permission. He is also to report to the Ladyville Police Station every Friday. Murphy’s next court date is January 11.

According to the police, a grey and red Toyota pickup truck, driven by Orange Walk resident Ricardo Jacobo and transporting vegetables and watermelons from Orange Walk to Belize City, collided head on with a Ford Everest SUV, driven by Murphy, between Miles 8 and 9 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Both vehicles were totaled and fortunately, neither Jacobo nor his only passenger, Luis Jacob, were fatally injured.

Jacobo and Jacob were admitted to ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they are reported to be in critical but stable condition.

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