DPP v Murtagh

 
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1989 WJSC-CCA 1340

COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

CHIEF JUSTICE

COSTELLO J.

JOHNSON J.

49/87
DPP v. MURTAGH
THE PEOPLE AT THE SUIT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
.v.
PAUL MURTAGH

Synopsis:

CRIMINAL LAW

Accomplice

Evidence - Jury - Warning - Absence - Conviction quashed -

Retrial - Held that the witness had been an accomplice in respect

of both charges contained in the indictment, that the trial judge

should have warned the jury of the danger of convicting the

appellant on the uncorroborated evidence of an accomplice and

that it would be unsafe to allow the convictions to stand -

(49/87 - C.C.A. - 27/7/89) - [1990] 1 I.R. 339

|The People v. Murtagh|

EVIDENCE

Accomplice

Jury - Warning - Necessity - Indictment - Subornation of perjury - Attempt to pervert course of justice - Convictions - Convictions based on testimony of person suborned - Convictions quashed - ~See~ Criminal Law, accomplice - (49/87 - C.C.A. - 27/7/89) - [1990] 1 I.R. 339

|The People v. Murtagh|

Costello J.
1

The appellant was charged in the Dublin Circuit Court with charges of perjury (Count 1), subornation of perjury (Count 2) and of an attempt to pervert the course of justice (Count 3). The jury disagreed on Count 1 but found him guilty of the charges contained in Counts 2 and 3 and on 1st April 1987 he was sentenced to 2 years” imprisonment in respect of each Count, the sentences to run concurrently. Leave to appeal was granted by this Court on 4th May 1987 and the appellant was admitted to bail.

2

The facts which gave rise to the charges against the appellant can be briefly stated as follows. On the evening of the 20th June the appellant was observed by members of the garda siochana coming out of a licensed premises in Swords and getting into his car. Later he was arrested at Seatown Terrace in Swords, brought across the road, put into a police car and brought to Swords Garda Station. He was charged with drunken driving and subsequently convicted. This court is not concerned with this conviction but with the circumstances of the arrest and subsequent detention and what happened thereafter. The appellant alleged that he was assaulted whilst being taken across the road at Seatown Terrace and later in the Swords garda station and as a result of his complaints summonses were issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions against a number of gardai, including a Garda O'Sullivan. The summons against Garda O'Sullivan was heard in the Swords District Court on 17th July 1984 and dismissed. The charge of perjury arises from the evidence the appellant gave at that trial. The charges of subornation of perjury and...

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