DPP v Carlton

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Morris
Judgment Date01 January 1993
Neutral Citation1991 WJSC-HC 1828
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number270SS/1991,[1991 No. 270 SS]
Date01 January 1993
DPP v. CARLTON
IN THE MATTER OF SECTION 2 OF THE SUMMARY JURISDICTION ACT
1857 AS EXTENDED BY SECTION 51 OF THE COURTS (SUPPLEMENTAL
PROVISIONS) ACT 1961

BETWEEN

THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
COMPLAINANT

AND

JAMES CARLTON
DEFENDANT

1991 WJSC-HC 1828

270SS/1991

THE HIGH COURT

Synopsis:

CRIMINAL LAW

Trial

Commencement - Delay - Charge - Dismissal - Validity - District Court - Summary trial - Second prosecution for same offence - Courts (No.3) Act, 1986, s. 1 - (1991/27 SS - Morris J. - 24/6/91) - [1993] 1 I.R. 81

|Director of Public Prosecutions v. Carlton|

DELAY

Trial

Commencement - Charge - Dismissal - Validity - Summary offence - Second summons - Hearing - Eight months after date of offence - (1991/270 SS - Morris J. - 24/6/91) - [1993] 1 I.R. 81

|Director of Public Prosecutions v. Carlton|

DISTRICT COURT

Charge

Dismissal - Trial - Commencement - Delay - Summary offence - Second summons - Hearing - Eight months after date of offence - (1991/270 SS - Morris J. - 24/6/91) - [1993] 1 I.R. 81

|Director of Public Prosecutions v. Carlton|

Citations:

SUMMARY JURISDICTION ACT 1857

COURTS (SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS) ACT 1961

ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1961

ROAD TRAFFIC (AMDT) ACT 1978

CUDDY, STATE V MANGAN 1988 ILRM 720

R V WATFORD JUSTICES EX PARTE OUTRIM 1983 RTR 26

MARA V HUMMINGBIRD LTD 1982 ILRM 421

O'KEEFFE V AN BORD PLEANALA UNREP SUPREME 15.2.91

DPP V BURNBY UNREP BARRINGTON 24.7.91

DPP V CORBETT UNREP BARRINGTON 24.1.91

COURTS (NO 3) ACT 1986 S1(7)

1

Judgment of Mr. Justice Morrisdelivered the 24th day of June 1991.

2

This is a Case Stated by District Justice Desmond P. Hogan pursuant to the provisions of the Summary Jurisdiction Act 1857 as amended by the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961upon the request of the Complainant who is dissatified with the determination of the District Justice as being erroneous on a point of law for the opinion of the High Court.

3

The facts upon which the Case Stated arise are as follows.

4

It is alleged that on the 11th of November 1989 at Navan Road the Defendant drove a mechanically propelled vehicle when the concentration of alcohol in his blood exceeded the limit permitted under the Road Traffic Act 1961as amended by the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 1978. The Summons relating to that charge was listed for hearing before the District Justice on the 12th of March 1990. However through an oversight the prosecuting Garda had not been informed that the matter was on the list for hearing. He happened to be in Court and applied for an adjournment which the Learned District Justice refused and made an Order striking out the charges against the Defendant. The prosecuting Garda applied afresh for the issue of Summonses against the Defendant and these were issued on the 21st of June 1990 and returned on the 26th of July 1990. On that date the Defendant was represented by Counsel. Counsel submitted that, and I quote from the case, "that an eight month delay was unfair". On the strength of that submission the Learned District Justice determined that "the eight month delay was such that there was a sufficient case for delay made out .......... and I proceeded to dismiss the charge against the Defendant".

5

The opinion is sought from the High Court as to whether the Learned District Justice was correct in law in dismissing the charge on the basis of the submissions made to him by Counsel for the Defendant

6

My attention has been directed to the Judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Barr on the 24th of July 1989 in thecase of Director of Public Prosecutions v. Christopher Burnby. In that case a delay was encountered in the issue of a summons by reason of a computer delay which extended for a period in excess of eight months. Mr. Justice Barr concluded that there was an onus on the Prosecutor to show that the prosecution had been brought within a reasonable time and where, as in that case, there was delay there was an onus on the Prosecution to offer some explanation for that delay. Since there was no explanation for the delay forthcoming Mr. Justice Barr determined the Case Stated in favour of the Defendant.

7

That was the authority relied upon by the Defendant in the present case in support of his submission to the District Justice.

8

A completely separate and different basis for relief in cases such as these arises where it is alleged that the Defence has been prejudiced as a result of delay. There is clear authority for the proposition that where such a case is made the onus lies upon the party alleging the prejudice to establish it. In Director of Public Prosecutions v. Sean Corbett, Judgment of Mr. Justice Barr delivered the 24th of January 1991 he said, differentiating between cases where there is unreasonable delay and those in which the Defence alleges...

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