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Accused admitted he left scene of Cork crash ‘drunk’

A man charged with dangerous driving causing the death of GAA commentator Paudie Palmer admitted to his mother and his friends in text messages just hours after the collision that he had “left the scene of a traffic accident drunk”.

Bohdan Bezverkhyi, who is a native of Ukraine but has an address at Rigsdale House in Ballinhassig, Co Cork, denies dangerous driving causing the death of Paudie Palmer at Dunkereen Cross, Innishannon, Cork on 29 December, 2022.

Mr Palmer was a 65-year-old native of Kenmare in Co Kerry, who for many years carried out GAA coverage for Cork radio stations C103FM and 96FM.

The trial got under way at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last week. Today, texts which Mr Bezverkhyi, 33, sent in Russian in the aftermath of the crash were translated into English and presented as evidence to the jury.

The texts were translated by translator Liudmilla Ladchenko. In one text the accused said: “It is not funny to me. I will be jailed. Left the scene of a traffic accident. They will take me in now. They will come and get me.”

One friend asked if he had hit anyone. He replied: “I did.” He asked another person for guidance via a text message.

“I got in a to a car accident. Advise me what to do. I am in the wrong 100%. I drove off. I was drunk. There is no excuse for me. I am guilty of all.”

Bohdan Bezverkhyi denies dangerous driving causing the death of Paudie Palmer

He said via text that he was “blaming” himself, and when asked by a friend why he had not gone to the police, he replied, “because I am not sober”.

Mr Bezverkhyi also exchanged text messages with his mother in which he said that he would hand himself in the following day. His mother told him to put a “remnant of soap” in his pocket when he handed himself in to police.

In one of the texts, he said that he had “left the scene of accident. Was pissed. Nevertheless, need to surrender to the garbage. I don’t see any other way out. I think this is the most correct option”.

The trial previously heard evidence from Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, who told the jury of seven women and five men that Mr Palmer was around 300 to 500 metres from his home when the collision occurred.

Dr Bolster said that Mr Palmer suffered a traumatic brain injury which included bleeding to his brain and breeding to the membrane under his brain. She said that he also sustained a traumatic axonal injury. This is a tearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibres which occurs when the brain is injured.

The court heard that Mr Palmer was admitted to Cork University Hospital on the day of the accident. However, he passed away from his injuries on 8 January, 2023.

Dr Bolster indicated that the cause of death was “traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries with thoracic injuries due to a road traffic collision”.

Defence counsel Seamus Roche put it to Dr Bolster that Mr Palmer was not wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred. Dr Bolster said that this would have led to an “increased vulnerability” for Mr Palmer.

“He had very significant blunt force trauma to his head.”

The case continues.


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