DPP v Brady

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr Justice Edwards
Judgment Date01 December 2022
Neutral Citation[2022] IECA 313
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
Docket NumberRecord No: 168CJA/21

In the Matter of an Application Pursuant to Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1993

Between/
The People (At the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions)
Appellant/Respondent
and
Deirdre Brady
Respondent/Appellant

[2022] IECA 313

The President

Edwards J.

Donnelly J.

Record No: 168CJA/21

THE COURT OF APPEAL

JUDGMENT of the Court delivered on the 1st day of December, 2022 by Mr Justice Edwards.

Introduction
1

The respondent appeared before the Special Criminal Court for sentencing on the 30th of July 2021 following arraignment on the 13th of April 2021 at which she pleaded guilty to Count No. 33 on a sixty-eight count indictment on which she was co-accused with two others, and on which only certain counts related to the respondent. Count No. 33 was an offence of concealing or disguising the true nature or source of proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to s. 7(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 (“the Act of 2010”). The respondent was further arraigned on the 14th of June at which she pleaded guilty to Counts No. 36, 37, 40, 41, 44, 45, 48, 49, 52, 53, 56, 57, 60, 61, 64, 65 and 68. These seventeen counts related to eight further offences of concealing or disguising the true nature or source of proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to s.7(1)(a)(i) of the Act of 2010, and nine offences of converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing and using the proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to s.7(a)(ii) of the Act of 2010. The offences spanned a period of 5 years from 2012 to 2016 inclusive.

2

The respondent was sentenced to three years' imprisonment on all counts to run concurrently, the entirety of the which was fully suspended on conditions for a period of three years. The sentence was to date from the date of sentencing, i.e., the 30th of July 2021.

3

A nolle prosequi was entered in accordance with s. 12 of the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act 1924 in respect of the following further counts on the same indictment which also related to the respondent, namely Counts Nos. 34, 35, 38, 39, 42, 43, 46, 47, 50, 51, 54, 55, 58, 59, 62, 63, 66, and 67.

4

The applicant now seeks a review of the three year fully suspended sentences that were imposed, pursuant to s. 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993, claiming that they were unduly lenient.

Factual Background
5

The Special Criminal Court heard evidence from a Sergeant Anderson on the 14th of June 2021 who outlined the circumstances of the offences.

6

On the 24th of January 2017, following the receipt of specific confidential information, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau placed several individuals under surveillance. During this surveillance the individuals were seen entering and leaving a commercial premises at 52 Grant Drive, Greenogue Industrial Estate, Co Dublin. Following the interception of two men leaving the premises and the execution of a search warrant, a third person was located at the premises. All three were arrested and detained under s. 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939. One of the three persons concerned was the respondent's husband Declan Brady. However, the respondent was not one of the persons concerned.

7

During the search, Gardaí located 15 assorted firearms and ammunition comprising of a sub machine gun and silencer, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Also recovered was a device for creating vehicle registration plates, a stolen forklift and two vehicle tracking devices.

8

One of the three men arrested and detained under s. 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939 was Declan Brady, the husband of the respondent and following the obtaining of a warrant, the family home of Declan Brady and the respondent, at 19 The Park, Wolston's Abbey, Celbridge, Co. Kildare was searched. During the search of this premises at which the respondent was present, sums of cash were discovered in different denominations comprising €930, US$1,000 and Stg£220, along with documentation relating to Ulster Bank which showed a monthly transfer of €3000 from the respondent to two Spanish bank accounts. The respondent was the beneficiary of one of these accounts, while a named individual was the beneficiary of the other. The individual in question was said by the witness to be a senior figure in organised crime, who was (at the time of the respondent's sentence hearing) before the UK courts in relation to serious drugs charges. When asked about these accounts, the respondent claimed to have sole access to her accounts and to have had no knowledge of the transactions referred to.

9

On the 24th of January 2017 Gardaí executed another warrant and searched premises at The Dairy, Rathasker Road, Naas, Co. Kildare, the residence of Mr Brady's girlfriend Erika Lukacs and the location where he sometimes resided. Ms Lukacs is a Hungarian national and is the mother of a child with Mr Brady who was born in 2016. The court subsequently heard that the respondent was, at the material time, unaware of her husband's relationship with Ms Lukacs or of the property in Naas.

10

During the search of this premises, sums of cash in denominations of €2,000, Stg£10,000, €62,230, €29,920, €41,600 and €135,190 were located at various locations throughout the residence. Also recovered during the search was an AIB bank statement in the name of Erika Lukacs which showed that she had had at one time a balance of €88,000, although at the time of the search the balance was only €1,000. However, further enquiries led the investigators to an additional personal bank account within AIB in the name of Erika Lukacs containing €95,000.

11

A full financial investigation ensued in relation to banking, Revenue and Social Welfare documentation pertaining to Mr Brady, the respondent and Ms Lukacs, and from which a forensic accountant was able to set out the financial positions of the accuseds as follows;

  • • Between 1st January 2012 and 28th February 2017 Mr Brady had five bank accounts, three of which were held jointly with the respondent including a mortgage account and one loan account.

  • • Mr Brady had a declared income for 2012 of €18,371.

  • • Tax returns filed for 2013 to 2017 showed no gross income.

  • • During this period Mr Brady was not in receipt of social welfare payments.

  • • Cash payments to Mr Brady's accounts during that period totalled €47,799. However, when adjusted for possible cash recycling, cash for income purposes reduced to €33,864.

  • • This amount exceeded the declared income for that period in the amount of €15,493.

  • • The variance with declared income in 2015 was €8,680.

  • • The variance with declared income in 2016 was €10,750.

12

The sentencing court heard evidence that the respondent was described as a housewife/homemaker on a number of the banking documents. During the period between the 1st of January 2012 and the 28th of February 2017 she had eight bank accounts, four of which were in the joint names of herself and her husband, Mr Brady. Records provided showed the respondent had no declared income during this period.

13

There was evidence that the respondent had a mortgage account jointly with Declan Brady and that that account had benefited from a total of €89,030 in cash lodgements in the three years between 2014 and 2016. There had been a total of 21 individual cash lodgements.

14

The court also heard that there were monthly cash lodgements of €3000 to an Ulster Bank account (with end digits 921), in the name of Deirdre Brady, which monies were then transferred to a Spanish bank account also in the name of Deirdre Brady. This has been alluded to already at paragraph 8 above in the context of describing documents found during the search of 19 The Park, Wolston's Abbey, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Declan Brady was the end beneficiary of these international transfers as they were used to pay a mortgage on a Spanish property in his name. He benefited to a total of €138,948, which was the amount that was transferred to Spain from Deirdre Brady's said Ulster bank account.

15

There was also evidence of further monthly cash lodgements of €3,000 to the same Ulster Bank account in the name of Deirdre Brady, which sums were then subsequently transferred outside the state to a Spanish bank account in the name of a Mr T.K.. Again, this has been alluded to already at paragraph 8 above. There was evidence of 48 such individual transactions over a period of five years totalling €141,103.

16

The sentencing court further heard evidence that a close family member of Declan Brady got married at the Druid's Glen hotel and golf resort in May 2015. The wedding had cost €66,301. A substantial portion of the wedding bill was paid in cash, amounting to €27,265. The balance of €39,036 was paid from the respondent's Bank of Ireland account (with end digits111) between March and May 2015. The seed capital to support the payments was from cash lodgements prior to the transactions.

17

According to revenue records the sums paid were completely out of proportion to the respondent's declared income and expenditure.

18

Declan Brady was a co-accused with the respondent on the same indictment and pleaded guilty to money laundering offences, involving sums totalling €418,654. For completeness it should also be stated that Erika Lukacs was a second co-accused with the respondent on the same indictment and she pleaded guilty to money laundering offences amounting to €210,695.

19

Analysis of all of the respondent's bank accounts, excluding the joint accounts, showed lodgements totalling €690,150, of which €655,688 was in cash, €23,215 was in cheques and €11,202 was in Bank Drafts. The Court heard that once the lodgements are adjusted for cash recycling, the totalled lodgements for income purposes comes to €573,893. These were all undeclared income.

20

The respondent was arrested on the 1st of...

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