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Anthony Howard

Special Criminal Court entitled to use garda opinion evidence in convicting IRA man

Court of Appeal

(Pictured: Detective Chief Superintendent Anthony Howard. Credit: Collins)

The non-jury Special Criminal Court was entitled to use the opinion evidence of a garda chief superintendent in convicting a man of IRA membership, despite the officer’s refusal to answer questions about how he formed his opinion, the Court of Appeal has found.

President of the court Mr Justice George Birmingham said the use of opinion evidence in IRA membership trials is “very unwelcome from the perspective of those charged with the offence” and has “given rise to debate and unease among civil society.”

However, he added that it has been part of Irish ….read more


FBD withdraws challenge to Ombudsman's investigation over Covid claim

High Court

A High Court challenge by FBD, brought against an investigation by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman of a publican’s complaint over the insurer’s refusal to pay out for a business interruption claim due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been withdrawn.

Last year FBD Insurance Plc secured permission from the High Court to seek to have the Ombudsman’s investigation of a complaint made by ‘Phil Flannery’s of Denmark Street Ltd’, judicially reviewed.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Charles Meenan at Thursday’s sitting of the High Court. The judge was told that the FBD case was being withdrawn and could be ….read more

File pic ccj with van

Jehovah's Witness jailed for sexually exploiting girl (13)

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A Jehovah’s Witness who sexually exploited a 13 year old girl has been jailed for 18 months.

His lawyers had argued that the man was “sexually naive in the extreme” partly as a result of his involvement with the “extremely conservation religion”.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was aged 29 when he met the girl through their mutual association with a local Jehovah’s Witness congregation.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that over a period of time in 2016 he and the girl exchanged messages on Viber, including sexually explicit images of the child.

The man, ….read more

MA McGann

Strokestown eviction pair to remain in jail

High Court

(Pictured: Michael Anthony McGann. Credit: Collins)

Two men jailed by the High Court over their interference with a bank’s lawful takeover of a farm that was the subject of a controversial eviction in 2018 will remain in prison after refusing to purge their contempt.

Michael Anthony McGann, who owns the property at Falsk, Strokestown, Co Roscommon and Kevin Taylor, a retired garda of Dublin Road, Longford, were among three men arrested at the house last November for interference with efforts by KBC Bank’s agents to secure the property following the eviction.

They were found to be in contempt a week ….read more

Central Criminal Court court 13 inside2

Man with 'significant intellectual impairment' raped woman sleeping in own bed

Central Criminal Court

By Brion Hoban and Alison O’Riordan

A man with a significant intellectual impairment who “sneaked” into an apartment through an unlocked door and raped a sleeping woman in her own bed has been jailed for four years.

Mr Justice Alex Owens said today that Desmond Leitch’s false insistence that the victim was a prostitute demonstrated a lack of remorse. He said Leitch had no business entering into the woman’s apartment block on the night and had deliberately gone there in search of sex.

“He did not wander into the apartment by some accident. He had a sexual purpose in mind and he was ….read more

Court of Criminal Appeal

Man who raped, defiled and exploited step-daughter has conviction upheld

Court of Appeal

An Asian man who raped, defiled and sexually exploited his step-daughter has lost an appeal against his conviction.

The 44-year-old, who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity, abused the girl from 2010 until 2017 when she was aged between nine and 16. On one occasion he offered her €200 in exchange for a sexual act.

In January 2019 he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment following a Central Criminal Court trial in which a jury found him guilty of 13 counts of rape, three counts of defilement and one of sexual exploitation of a child.

At the three-judge Court of Appeal ….read more

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