Jury fails to reach verdict in drunk driving case

Scientist told Roscommon court that tests on urine sample suggested it was microwaved

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the case of a Post Office manager accused of perverting the course of justice in a drunk driving investigation. Photograph: Getty Images.

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the case of a Post Office manager accused of perverting the course of justice in a drunk driving investigation. Photograph: Getty Images.

 

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the case of a Post Office manager accused of perverting the course of justice in a drunk driving investigation.

Kevin Rogers (50), of Mote Park, Roscommon had denied carrying out an act tending to pervert the course of public justice by interfering with or tampering with potential evidence on March 5th, 2012.

The five-day trial at Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court heard that a urine sample had been taken from Michael Lyons, another Roscommon Post Officer worker and close friend of Mr Rogers, arising from a road traffic accident on March 3rd of last year.

Evidence was heard from postman Mark Miley who said that Kevin Rogers had pushed a box inside his jacket at Roscommon Post Office on March 5th with instructions to say nothing to anybody and to “deny all”.

The box, which was part of registered mail, was hot and had a bad smell from it, Mr Miley had said.

Officials at the Medical Bureau of Road Safety in Dublin told the court that the box containing the sample had been interfered with and there was no urine in the sample bottle. It appeared to have been subjected to heat and pressure and analysis was not possible.

A forensic scientist gave evidence that tests carried out on a urine sample kit used by gardaí very strongly supported the view that the urine sample had been microwaved.

Mr Rogers’ counsel, Martin Giblin had argued that the evidence did not come up to the mark required and the science was ‘problematic’.

After deliberating for more than eight hours, the jury returned late yesterday afternoon to advise Judge Tony Hunt that they could not get an adequate number to reach a verdict. All jurors held this view, the judge was told.

Judge Hunt thanked them for their deliberations and told them not to regard their failure to reach a verdict as ‘a bad thing’. They had put enormous interest and effort into considering the case. He exempted them from future jury service for periods ranging from 6-10 years.

He remanded Kevin Rogers on continuing bail and the case will be for mention at the March sittings of the court. The Director of Public Prosecutions will now have to decide if she wishes to proceed with a re-trial of the case.