Dunne v DPP


[2009] IESC 14


Denham J.

Hardiman J.

Fennelly J.

APPEAL NO 382/2005
Dunne v DPP
Robert Dunne
Applicant/ Respondent
Director of Public Prosecutions

382/2005 - Denham Hardiman Fennelly [nem diss] - Supreme - 24/2/2009 - 2013 15 4379 2009 IESC 14



SCULLY v DPP 2005 1 IR 242 2005 2 ILRM 203 2005/54/11281 2005 IESC 11

DUNNE v DPP 2002 2 IR 305 2002 2 ILRM 241 2002/7/1645

BRADDISH v DPP 2001 3 IR 127 2002 1 ILRM 151 2001/2/351



Failure to preserve - CCTV footage - Robbery - Whether respondent discharged onus of establishing real risk of unfair trial - Apprehension - Finding of stolen videos in bag - Finding of disguise - Admissions - Duty of prosecution authorities - Failure to contest available evidence - Failure to deny guilt - Freedom to challenge admissibility of statements at trial - Savage v DPP [2008] IESC 39 (Unrep, SC, 3/7/2008); Scully v DPP [2005] IESC 11 [2005] 1 IR 242 and Dunne v DPP [2002] 2 IR 305 considered; Braddish v DPP [2001] 3 IR 129 distinguished - Appeal allowed (382/2005 - SC - 24/2/2009) [2009] IESC 14

Dunne v DPP


1.By an order made 15 th March 2004 on foot of an ex temporejudgment of Quirke J, the High Court made an order restraining the Appellant ("the Director") from continuing with the prosecution of the respondent on a charge of robbery of mobile phone cards, Playstation games and IR£200 cash at an Xtravision video shop at Greenhills, Tallaght, Co Dublin. The Director appeals against the order.


2.This is yet another "missing evidence" case. The gardaí have lost or mislaid the copy of the CCTV video footage of the robbery. At any rate, they are unable to produce it. It is unfortunate, to use no stronger expression, that the Court has to entertain so many applications for the prohibition of criminal trials for the sole reason that important evidence has been lost by the prosecuting authorities.


3.In the present case, the Director frankly admits his responsibility for the absence of the evidence. He limits his case to submitting that the respondent has notdischarged the onus of establishing that there is a real risk that he will not have a fair trial. That requirement is, of course, the central matter to be established in all these cases. While other issues have arisen in a number of the cases, the present case is concerned only with whether the absence of the CCTV video recording leads to a real risk that the respondent will not have a fair trial.


4.It is necessary, therefore, to summarise the facts. The facts regarding the offence emerge from the book of evidence. Those regarding the absence of the CCTV video appear from the affidavits sworn in the course of the judicial review proceedings.


5.On 23 rd March 2001 at about 10:40 pm, a robbery took place at the Xtravision video shop at Greenhills, Tallaght. There were two female staff behind the counter. Two youths came in. They were shouting. Both had their faces covered, one with white material, which turned out to be the sleeve of a white tee shirt with holes cut for the eyes, and the other with the hood of a dark coloured sweat shirt. One shouted: "where's the money" and pointed to the till; he ran around the counter to the till, which was open; he took money (later estimated at £200) from it. The one with a hood produced and waved a knife and demanded that the other till be opened. When it could not be opened, he demanded phone cards. One of the girls took him to the back of the shop where the phone cards were in a white plastic bag and gave it to him. The other youth (with the "white thing around his face") shouted: "where are the DVD's and Playstations. He grabbed all the Playstation games from the shelves; he put them into a big holdall bag. They then ran out of the shop.


6.Three other witnesses, customers in the shop, described...

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