Peachey v Hickey

CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date01 March 2005
Docket NumberRecord No. 305/04
Date01 March 2005


McGuinness J.

Hardiman J.

Kelly J.

Record No. 305/04


Criminal law - Extradition - Lapse of time between plaintiff’s conviction and commencement of his proceedings - Extradition Act 1965, s. 50(2)(bbb)

The plaintiff was convicted of sexual assault in Wales in May 2002 and released on bail. Between conviction and sentence the plaintiff absconded and came to this jurisdiction. The plaintiff was arrested on foot of extradition warrants. The plaintiff sought release pursuant to s. 50(2)(bbb) of the Extradition Act 1965. The plaintiff averred that having regard to the lapse of time that had occurred, the manner that he had settled in Ireland and the dangers that he might be subjected to a serious assault in prison in the UK it would be unfair to render him to UK.

Held by the Supreme Court (McGuinness, Hardiman and Kelly JJ) in dismissing the plaintiff’s appeal that the lapse of time between the plaintiff’s conviction and the commencement of his proceedings was not sufficient to trigger the operation of the section.

Per curiam In future cases if there was a delay in the Master’s Court that the Master should forthwith transfer the case to the High Court for the purposes of the making of an “unless” order.

Reporter: R.W.


Ex-Tempore judgment of the Court delivered by Mrs Justice McGuinness on the 1st March 2005


This is an appeal against the judgment and order of the High Court (Ó Caoimh J.) made and delivered on the 10th June 2004. By a special summons dated the 21st October 2003 the plaintiff sought release pursuant to section 50(2)(bbb) of the Extradition Act 1965. By his judgment and order the learned High Court judge refused the application.


The facts may be summarised as follows. The plaintiff was convicted of sexual assault at Swansea Crown Court on the 1st May 2002. It appears that he did then and still seeks to assert his innocence of the crime of which he has been found guilty by decision of a jury. He was released on bail subsequent to conviction and the matter was put back to 7th June 2002 for the purpose of sentence. Between conviction and sentence the plaintiff absconded and came to this jurisdiction.


The plaintiff indicates that he arrived in Ireland sometime in late May 2002. He first arrived in the Cork area and thereafter went to Limerick. In Limerick he stayed in various hostels including a St. Vincent de Paul hostel. He also lived rough for a number of weeks. He was, however, able to avail of social assistance and apparently obtained both a medical card and unemployment assistance. At all times he used his own name and lived openly in this jurisdiction.


The plaintiff states on affidavit that in late June or early July 2002 when he was queuing in the City Hall in Limerick to try to obtain housing he was approached by two plain clothes (3ardai. He disclosed his name to them and they indicated that they were aware of him and of his past. They did not arrest him and indicated that that was not their intention but informed him that he was to go to Henry Street Garda Station and sign the sexual offences register. It is accepted that the British authorities were informed in or about July 2002 that Mr Peachey was in this jurisdiction. Garda Justin McCarthy of Henry Street Garda Station, Limerick, in affidavit evidence accepts that Mr Peachey complied with the requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 on 4th November 2002. He again registered on the Sexual Offenders Register after he had changed his address on 20th January 2003. Again on 12th March 2003 the plaintiff notified the Gardai of a change of address within Limerick.


Subsequent to that the plaintiff apparently was assaulted in Limerick and quite badly injured. He then moved to Cork and after a period in Cork he again registered on the Sexual Offenders Register on l5th August 2003. On 26th August 2003 the plaintiff was arrested on foot of three extradition warrants. An affidavit on behalf of the respondent is sworn by Richard Edwin Glenister of the English Crown Prosecution Service. He avers that on 13th September 2002 warrants were obtained from Swansea Crown Court with accompanying affidavits and certificates. These


affidavits were furnished to the Irish authorities on or about 23rd September 2002. During the period September 2002 to July 2003 there was contact between the U.K. authorities and the Office of the Attorney General and communications between the parties in relation to the warrants. Apparently on 22nd July 2003 new warrants were obtained from Swansea Crown Court and the following day these were sent directly to the Extradition Section of An Garda Siochana. The Gardai at this point informed the British authorities that they had lost contact with the plaintiff between l2th March 2003 and 15th August 2003. However they resumed contact with him when he registered at Mayfield Garda Station and the applicant was then arrested.


Section 50 of the Extradition Act of 1965 (as amended) provides where relevant as follows:

  • (1) A person arrested under this Part shall be released if the High Court or the Minister so directs in accordance with this section.

  • (2) A direction under this section may be given by the High Court where the court is of the opinion that:

    (bbb) by reason of the lapse of time since the commission of the offence specified in the warrant or the conviction of the person named or described therein of that offence and other exceptional circumstances, it would, having regard to all of the circumstances, be unjust, oppressive or invidious to deliver him up under section 47.


The plaintiff avers in his affidavit that having regard to the lapse of time that has occurred, the manner that he had settled in Ireland and the dangers that...

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