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The Special criminal court

Prisoner "lost his head" and damaged cell after partner's suicide

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

By Jessica Magee and Fiona Ferguson

A former inmate of Mountjoy Prison who “lost his head” shortly after his partner took her own life and caused over €1,700 worth of damage to his cell has been given a suspended sentence.

Keith McDonnell (29) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage of his prison cell on May 21, 2013.

The court heard that McDonnell, of Glenshane Green, Tallaght, Dublin, had been serving a separate sentence for criminal damage at the time of the offence.

Sarah-Jane O’Callaghan BL, defending, said McDonnell’s former partner died of suicide and that after going to visit her ….read more

Tom OGorman

Tom O'Gorman's family take action over "enhanced" inquest

High Court

The siblings of a landlord brutally killed by his tenant have launched a High Court challenge against a coroner’s refusal to conduct an “enhanced” inquest into his death.

Thomas O’Gorman was killed between January 11 and January 12, 2014, at his home in Beech Park Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

In 2015, his tenant Saverio Bellante (40) admitted killing Mr O’Gorman and eating his body parts.

A jury at the Central Criminal Court found Bellante not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and placed him in the care of the Central Mental Hospital, where he currently remains.

The High Court on Monday ….read more

Special Criminal Court

Conviction for twice raping wife is upheld on appeal

Court of Appeal

A man jailed for raping his wife twice in one night has lost an appeal against his conviction.

The 40-year-old man, whose details cannot be published to protect his wife’s identity, was convicted following a Central Criminal Court trial on two counts of anally raping the woman at their Co Mayo home on December 18, 2015.

The man was found not guilty by the jury on four other counts of rape on earlier dates in 2015 and there was a direction of not guilty by the trial judge on a further count. He had no previous convictions.

The woman gave evidence ….read more

Garda stock

"Unfair and unjust" to imprison man caught with €76k in cannabis, judge finds

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

by Cianan Brennan

A Dublin man has avoided jail after being caught in possession of €76,800 worth of cannabis resin.

James Smith (38) of Huntstown Wood, Huntstown, Dublin was first apprehended by gardaí conducting a covert surveillance operation in early 2017.

Smith was observed visiting a property in Ashbourne, Co Meath, and leaving the same address with a plastic Tesco bag. Having driven away, he was subsequently intercepted by the officers.

During a search of the car they found a Tesco bag found to contain five bars of cannabis resin.
At the time Smith said he had collected the blocks for deliver in order to ….read more

Four Courts building

Contractors in "abuse of process" as appeals against damages for workers are struck out

Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has struck out appeals against damages awards made to dozens of Portuguese workers who claimed they lived in terrible conditions when they were building a section of the N7 motorway in 2007 and 2008.

Last year the High Court awarded the workers damages of over €1m for breach of contract against Portuguese companies Rosas Construtores SA, Constructocoes Gabriel AS Couto SA, and Empresa Deconstrucoes Amandio Carvalho SA.

The companies all trade under the title RAC Contractors or RAC Eire Partnership.

The workers claimed they were underpaid and lived in conditions described as a “work camp” while working for ….read more

File pic ccj with van

"Danger to society" who drugged and sexually assaulted pregnant partner loses appeal

Court of Appeal

A man described by a judge as “a danger to society” has lost an appeal against his conviction for drugging his heavily-pregnant partner and filming himself sexually assaulting her.

The Dublin man (55), who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury on three counts of sexually assaulting his partner by touching her anal area on three occasions in November 2014.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two further allegations that he raped his partner in December 2014, days before she was due to give birth to their second child, but he ….read more

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