A “freak accident” when a bullet ricocheted in Lahardane and travelled 200 yards to pierce the windscreen of a parked, and fortunately, unoccupied car, landed an experienced gun dealer before Ballina District Court this week.
Thomas Kelly, Laharadane, Ballina, came before the court charged with recklessly discharging a firearm.
However, Judge Mary Devins struck the case out after it was described as a freak accident.
Mr Kelly was testing a firearm at the rear of his premises at Cum, Lahardane.
He fired the gun into a hill in a field, as he had done many times in the past, explained his solicitor Michael Loftus.
The bullet ricocheted and travelled 200 yards to impact with the back windshield of a car in the yard of a house.
Judge Mary Devins viewed photographs of the area and noted there were children’s toys scattered around the yard where the bullet landed. She was advised children lived in the house.
Superintendent Declan Rock acknowledged it was a “freak accident”. However, he said it still amounted to a reckless discharge of a firearm.
Judge Devins said a criminal offence could not be described as a freak accident. and she struck the case out.
Mr Loftus said his client was no longer using the area to test firearms.