DPP v Howley

 
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1988 WJSC-CCA 140

COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

Finlay C.J.

Gannon J.

Barrington J.

Record No. 70/86
DPP v. HOWLEY
THE PEOPLE (AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS)
v.
SEAN HOWLEY

Citations:

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S30

DPP, PEOPLE V WALSH 1986 IR 722

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1924 S29

PEOPLE V QUILLIGAN 1987 ILRM 606, 1986 IR 495

JUDGES RULES

Synopsis:

EVIDENCE

Admissibility

Statement of accused - Arrest - Scheduled offence - Arrest on suspicion - Interrogation about scheduled offence and about a murder - ~See~ Criminal Law, arrest - (70/86 - C.C.A. - 4/3/88)

|The People v. Howley|

CRIMINAL LAW

Arrest

Validity - Scheduled offence - Suspicion of garda - Cattle maiming - Suspect interrogated about scheduled offence and about a murder - Detention extended and incriminatory statement made by suspect - Continuance of genuine suspicion at time of extension - Admission of statement in evidence at trial - Conviction for murder - On 12/2/84 a farmer complained to the Garda Siochana that some of his cattle had been maimed - The Gardai made extensive investigations into the complaint and suspected that the appellant, a neighbouring farmer, had committed that scheduled offence - Those investigations were still being pursued on 23/5/85 - On 9/6/85 the body of a woman was found in a lake near Ballina - The woman had lived in a house in Ballina owned by the appellant - At 11.30 a.m. on 26/6/85 the appellant was arrested by a garda, pursuant to s.30 of the Act of 1939, on suspicion of having committed the said scheduled offence - While he was being held in custody pursuant to that section, the appellant was questioned about the maiming of the cattle and about the disappearance of the woman - The detention of the appellant was extended by a Chief Superintendent for a further period of 24 hours from 11.30 a.m. on 27/6 and, shortly after noon on that day, the appellant made an incriminatory statement which was admitted in evidence in the Central Criminal Court at his trial on indictment for the murder of the woman - The appellant was convicted of that murder and he applied for leave to appeal against his conviction - At the hearing of his application, the appellant submitted that his interrogation by gardai while he was in custody pursuant to his arrest under s.30 of the Act of 1939 would have been justified only if the garda's predominant or primary motive in arresting him had been to investigate the cattle maiming - The appellant also submitted that the motive of the garda who arrested the appellant, and the motive of the officer who extended the period of detention, were to facilitate the investigation of the murder (not a scheduled offence) and that the statement was inadmissible since it had been made while the appellant was being detained unlawfully - Held, in dismissing the application, that one of the essential pre-conditions of a valid arrest by a garda pursuant to s.30 of the Act of 1939 was the existence of a genuine suspicion that the person arrested had committed a scheduled offence - Held that that pre-condition had been satisfied at the time of the appellant's arrest - Held that there was no reason to believe that the genuine suspicion had not continued to the time of the said extension, and that there was evidence that the officer who authorised the extension was unaware, when he did so, of the investigation of the murder: ~The People v. Quilligan~ [1986] I.R. 495, [1987] ILRM 606 and ~The People v. Walsh~ (Supreme Court - 25/7/86) considered - Offences Against the State Act, 1939, s.30 - (70/86 - C.C.A. - 4/3/88) - 3 Frewen 130

|The People v. Howley|

1

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT delivered on the 4th day of March 1988 by FINLAY C.J.

2

This is an application for leave to appeal against a conviction for murder entered in the Central Criminal Court on the 18th July 1986 on an indictment charging the Applicant. that on a date unknown between the 29th May 1985 and the 9th June 1985 within the County of Mayo he murdered Lily Ormsby.

3

The grounds of appeal are two in number and are confined to a ruling made by the learned trial Judge, Barron J., in the absence of the jury, admitting in evidence oral statements and statements in writing alleged to have been made by the accused of an incriminatory nature, on the 27th June 1985 while he was in custody in the Garda Station in Ballina.

The facts
4

The deceased, who resided as a tenant or lodger, in a house the property of the accused, in Ballina, was last seen alive in that house on the evening of Wednesday, the 29th May 1985. Her body was subsequently discovered in a lake some distance outside Ballina on the 9th June 1985, and she obviously had been dead for a considerable time. The cause of death was found to be drowning.

5

At 11.30 a.m. on the 26th June 1985 the Applicant was arrested by a member of the Garda Siochana pursuant to Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939on suspicion of having committed a scheduled offence, namely, the maiming of cattle at Ballina in the County of Mayo on the 12th February 1984. During the day of the 26th June, the Applicant was interrogated by a number of members of the Garda Siochana, part of the interrogation concerning the incident of the maiming of the cattle and at other times the interrogation concerning the disappearance of the deceased. The Applicant went to bed shortly after midnight on the evening of Wednesday, June 26th, and was again interrogated in the morning. At approximately half past ten, Chief Superintendent O'Connor signed an extension order extending the detention of the Applicant under Section 30 for a further twenty-four hours and this was read over to the Applicant at approximately 11.20 a.m. Shortly after noon on the 27th June the Applicant is alleged to have made an admission of the crime of murdering Lily Ormsby. It was taken down in writing and purports to have been signed by him. He made further statements and visited the area in the lake where the body of the deceased was found. The Applicant at the trial and on oath in his evidence denied that the statement was his or that he made it and denied complicity in the crime.

6

Form the time of the discovery of the body of the deceased the Applicant was, on the admission of the Garda Siochana, a suspect in the event of it being established that her death was a murder. He was interviewed by members of the Garda Siochana on two occasions and denied any knowledge concerning her disappearance or death.

7

On the 12th February of 1984 a complaint was...

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