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Queen's University student accused of baby's crash death blames the child's mum, court hears

A student accused of causing the death of a toddler in a fatal crash blames the child’s mother for the collision, a court has heard.

But a prosecutor told a Dungannon Crown Court jury that the claims by 24-year-old Queen’s University student John Fahy “simply do not add up”.

Fahy, from Groagagh Grange in Sligo, denies causing the death of 18-month-old Ryan Cox by driving without due care and attention on the Boa Island Road in Fermanagh on January 14, 2013.

The architectural student also denies causing grievous bodily injury to Ryan’s mother, Katriona, through careless driving.

Yesterday, the court heard of frantic efforts by a local doctor and an ambulance crew to save baby Ryan, who was found still strapped in his baby seat looking as if he was just asleep.

As this was going on firemen were cutting his unconscious mother from their Peugot 307 car. 

In her evidence Mrs Cox revealed she no memory of the tragic accident, and little recollection of what she had been doing that day.

She told the court that she awoke in Alnagelvin Hospital two days later with her son’s blanket over her. She said although her sister Noreen told her about Ryan, it did register with her until the following  day.

Earlier the court heard prosecution claims that expert evidence would prove Fahy’s Renault Megan car had been on the wrong side of the Boa Island Road when it collided with Mrs Cox’s car, and not the other way round.

Prosecution QC Liam McCollum said that shortly before 4pm that January afternoon Mrs Cox, with baby Ryan strapped in his baby seat, had travelled just over a mile from their home when their car and Fahy’s collided.

Judge McReynolds and the jury were told it was the prosecution case that as Fahy was driving around a left hand bend, near the entrance of Castle Caldwell Forest, he lost control of his car, ended up on the wrong side of the road and “impacted with the motor vehicle of Mrs Cox”.

His driving, said Mr McCollum, fell far below what would have been expected from a confident and careful driver, while Mrs Cox “was entirely on the correct side of the road”.

“The impact between the two vehicles occured on the wrong side of the road for the defendant and on the right side of the road of Mrs Cox,” claimed  Mr McCollum who added that gouges and debris on the road supported those findings.

The prosecution lawyer also told the jury “all the objective evidence” showed the accident  was caused “by the defendant going on the wrong  side of the road” and by the end of the case they would have no difficulty in convicting Fahy clearly of careless driving.

Mr McCollum said while Mrs Cox had no memory of the tragic events, Fahy attempted “to blame Mrs Cox for the accident”.

Fahy, the court heard, was interviewed by police when he left hospital some two months later. 

He claimed that the last thing he remembered was “being in my lane”, travelling at about 45 to 50 mph. He told police as he came round the corner he “remembered” seeing Mrs Cox’s in front of him.

Her car, he claimed, was “going back into her lane”, and the next thing, his car was spinning. 

Asked by police if he was saying Mrs Cox’s car was on the wrong side of the road “he said yes”.

The student, the court also heard, said after reaching the straight part of the road he could “just remember my car spinning”.

“Her car was on the wrong side of the road,” he had said “It was not over-taking a parked car ... I had no place to go”.

Mr McCollum said the student was “making the case he was on his own side of the road and Mrs Cox was on the wrong side of the road”.

The prosecution lawyer told the jury that while they would “have to make your own mind about that”.

He said that when they narrowed the issues down, and using their own common sense to analyse the evidence, then “the account of the defendant simply does not add up”.

The trial expected to last at least a week continues today.

Belfast Telegraph