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Judge refuses to dismiss case of bin truck rampage accused


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Accused Rune Skinnarland

Accused Rune Skinnarland

Accused Rune Skinnarland

A judge has refused to strike out a case against a Norwegian businessman accused of taking a bin lorry on a drink-fuelled rampage in Dublin city centre.

Rune Skinnarland (56) was on a business trip when he allegedly took the truck, drove it into the door of a shop and apartment building and later woke up naked on a street with no memory of the events.

His defence asked for the case to be struck out, saying video footage and statements had not been provided by gardaí despite a court order.

Judge Bryan Smyth gave the prosecution a month to comply with the order but said he would strike out the charges if the material is not furnished without a "very good reason".

Damage

Mr Skinnarland is charged with unauthorised use of a truck belonging to a waste company on September 4 last year, drink driving in it and causing criminal damage to it.

He is charged with three other counts of criminal damage; to a pedestrian gate at an apartment block, the door of a Dealz shop, and a steel bollard.

The accused has not yet entered a plea and when the case came back before Dublin District Court, defence barrister John Griffin said he had not received full disclosure, ordered last November.

Mr Griffin said CCTV had been mentioned in Garda documents but the defence had not yet received it.

A garda sergeant said there was no direct video of the incident but mobile phone footage was taken by a witness, who heard a bang and recorded someone running from a scene.

A still was taken from this footage. CCTV from Jury's Inn hotel on Parnell Street purported to show the accused leaving by a back door, the court heard.

Gardaí had not believed that either the phone still or the CCTV was of evidential value.

Identity

Mr Griffin said while it was not of evidential value to the prosecution, it might be to the defence and there "may very well be identity issues".

He said it was difficult to take instructions from his client in Norway when disclosure was coming in "piecemeal fashion".

The sergeant said the prosecuting garda had been having difficulty contacting one of the witnesses regarding the truck.

The other statement was about the phone recording and again, the garda did not think this was of evidential value.

The court heard the value of damage caused was "considerable"; estimated at over €4,000.

Previously, the court heard the accused would say he was out consuming alcohol on the night, went back to his hotel and "next thing he wakes up naked on the street".

Mr Skinnarland thought "his drink may have been spiked" and was "shocked at what's alleged", Mr Griffin said.

Herald