DPP v Bradley

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date09 December 1999
Date09 December 1999
Docket Number[1999 No. 673 S.S.]
CourtHigh Court
Director of Public Prosecutions (McTiernan) v. Bradley
In the matter of s. 52(1) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act
1961
The Director of Public Prosecutions (at the suit of Garda Des McTiernan)
Prosecutor
and
Alan Bradley, Accused
[1999 No. 673 S.S.]

High Court

Constitution - Allegation of breach of constitutional rights - District Court - Jurisdiction - Whether court of limited jurisdiction should entertain such submission - Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Article 38.1.

Criminal law - Unlawful arrest - Procedure in District Court - Valid arrest not essential ingredient to charge - Whether unlawful arrest material to hearing before District Court - Whether deliberate and conscious violation of accused's rights.

The accused was charged under s. 2(1)(b) of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997, with assault. The accused was arrested six days after the assault and was charged and brought before the District Court.

In the District Court, it was submitted by the accused that there was no power of arrest without warrant, for an offence contrary to s. 2(1)(b) of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997, and that the general power of arrest under s. 4 of the Criminal Law Act, 1997, only permitted arrest without warrant for an offence with a penalty which did not apply under s. 2(1)(b). Accordingly, the arrest was unlawful and there had been an infringement of the accused's constitutional rights. Further, where an accused alleges that his constitutional rights have been infringed in procedures adopted in bringing him before the District Court, then the District Judge is obliged to hear the accused's allegations and submissions and take such steps as are considered appropriate.

The prosecution submitted that unless the validity of the arrest is an essential ingredient in proving the charges brought, then, whether there has been a lawful arrest was immaterial to the hearing before the District Court.

The District Court Judge stated a case as to whether, in circumstances where proof of a valid arrest is not an essential ingredient in proving the charge, those charges should be dismissed if the person's constitutional right to liberty has been violated in the procedures adopted in bringing him before the District Court.

Held by the High Court (McGuinness J.), in answering the case stated, 1, that in cases where proof of a valid arrest was not an essential ingredient to ground a charge, the jurisdiction of the District Court to embark on any criminal proceeding was not affected by the fact that an accused person has been brought before the court by an illegal process, and the court should consider whether there had been a deliberate and conscious violation of the accused's rights, prior to embarking on the hearing.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Michael Delaney [1997] 3 I.R. 453; The State (Trimbole) v. The Governor of Mountjoy Prison[1985] I.R. 550; Director of Public Prosecutions (Ivers) v. Murphy[1999] 1 I.R. 98; Killeen v. Director of Public Prosecutions[1997] 3 I.R. 218 andThe State (Attorney General) v. Fawsitt[1955] I.R. 39followed.

2. That, if an individual alleged that his constitutional rights had been infringed in procedures adopted in bringing him before the District Court, it was not appropriate for the District Court to refuse to allow such a submission to be made to the court and such allegations could be dealt with immediately, or if appropriate with full submissions after evidence was heard in the trial.

Coughlan v. Judge Patwell [1993] 2 I.R. 31 followed.

Cases mentioned in this report:-

Coughlan v. Judge Patwell [1993] 1 I.R. 31; [1992] I.L.R.M. 808.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Forbes [1994] 2 I.R. 542; [1993] I.L.R.M. 817.

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Michael Delaney [1997] 3 I.R. 453; [1998] 1 I.L.R.M. 507.

Director of Public Prosecutions (Ivers) v. Murphy [1999] 1 I.R. 98; [1999] 1 I.L.R.M. 46.

Keating v. Governor of Mountjoy Prison [1991] 1 I.R. 61; [1990] I.L.R.M. 850.

Killeen v. Director of Public Prosecutions [1997] 3 I.R. 218; [1998] 1 I.L.R.M. 1.

The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. Kenny [1990] 2 I.R. 110; [1990] I.L.R.M. 569.

The State (Attorney General) v. Judge Fawsitt [1955] I.R. 39.

The State (Trimbole) v. The Governor of Mountjoy Prison [1985] I.R. 550; [1985] I.L.R.M. 465.

Case stated.

The facts are summarised in the headnote and are fully set out in the judgment of McGuinness J., infra.

On the 24th February, 1998, a consultative case stated was ordered by District Judge Desmond Hogan. On the 16th April, 1999, a notice was issued that the case stated had been prepared and signed. The case stated was submitted with the following interrogative:-

"Where it is alleged that the constitutional right to liberty of a person accused of an offence contrary to s. 2(1)(b) of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997, has been violated in the procedures adopted in bringing him before the District Court, in circumstances where proof of a valid arrest is not an essential ingredient in proving the charge, am I, a Judge of the District Court, entitled, for that reason, to dismiss the charge accordingly?"

The matter was heard by the High Court (McGuinness J.) on the 26th November, 1999.

Cur. adv. vult.

McGuinness J.

9th December, 1999

This is a consultative case stated pursuant to s. 52(1) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961, by Judge Hogan of the District Court. The learned judge sets out the facts of the case as follows:-

"1. At the sitting of the Dublin Metropolitan District Court held at Court No. 46 the Bridewell, Chancery Lane, in the City of Dublin on the 19th December, 1997, the accused herein appeared before me on Finglas charge sheet 95 of 1997, which said charge sheet alleged that the accused, on the 23rd October, 1997, assaulted one, Garda Des McTiernan (the prosecutor herein) contrary to s. 2(1)(b) of the Non...

To continue reading

Request your trial
14 cases
  • Whelton v District Judge O'Leary & DPP
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 Diciembre 2010
    ...COURT & DPP 2008 4 IR 514 2008 1 ILRM 510 2007/45/9603 2007 IESC 45 AG, STATE v JUDGE FAWSITT 1955 IR 39 DPP (MCTIERNAN) v BRADLEY 2000 1 IR 420 1999/6/1506 OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S30A OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE (AMDT) ACT 1998 S11 OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S30A(3......
  • Director of Public Prosecutions v Carter
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 5 Marzo 2015
    ...203, The Director of Public Prosecutions v. Delaney [1997] 3 I.R. 453 and The Director of Public Prosecutions (McTiernan) v. Bradley [2000] 1 I.R. 420. The law is comprehensively and usefully reviewed in the concurring judgment in the recent case of Whelton v. O'Leary [2010] IESC 63. There ......
  • Stokes v Governor of Cloverhill Prison
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 29 Julio 2009
    ...WALSH CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 2002 PARA 4.100 WARD & CUMMINS v DPP & ORS 2007 1 IR 421 2005/58/12149 2005 IEHC 383 DPP (MCTIERNAN) v BRADLEY 2000 1 IR 420 1999/6/1506 NON-FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S2 TRIMBOLE, STATE v GOVERNOR OF MOUNTJOY PRISON 1985 IR 550 1985 ILRM 465 MCD......
  • Broe v DPP and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 4 Diciembre 2009
    ...372, State (Trimbole) v. Governor of Mountjoy Prison [1985] IR 550, Keating v Governor of Mountjoy Prison [1991] I IR 61, DPP v Bradley [2000] 1 IR 420, DPP (Ivers) v Murphy [1999] 1 IR 98, State (Attorney General) v Fawcitt [1955] IR 39, Coughlan v Patwell [1993] 1 IR 31, State (Byrne) ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT