Prendergast v Joyce

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMR JUSTICE MICHAEL PEART
Judgment Date25 January 2010
Neutral Citation[2009] IEHC 199
Docket Number[1999 No. 941P]
Date13 February 2009
CourtHigh Court

[2009] IEHC 199

THE HIGH COURT

Record Number: No. 1803 SS/2009
Shannon v Governor of Cloverhill Prison
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 40.4.2 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF IRELAND

Between:

MICHAEL SHANNON
Applicant

AND

THE GOVERNOR OF CLOVERHILL PRISON
Respondent

CONSTITUTION ART 40.4.2

BAIL ACT 1997 S2

MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1977 S15A

CRIMINAL LAW

Bail

Refusal to grant bail - Fair procedures - Bias - Appearance of bias - Refusal by trial judge to recuse self - Committal warrant -Whether reasons existed to refuse bail - Whether hearing unfairly conducted - Whether evidence of objective bias -Whether committal warrant vague - Whether committal warrant void for uncertainty - Bail Act 1997 (No 16), s 2 - Application refused (2009/1803SS - Peart J - 25/1/2010) [2010] IEHC 199

Shannon v Governor of Cloverhill Prison

Facts during an application for bail advanced on behalf of the applicant, the District Judge hearing the application refused same, saying in the course thereof that the applicant "had done it before and has done it again." The applicant's solicitor objected to a determination of the bail application being made by the Judge predicated upon a presumption that he had committed the offence with which he was then charged, to which the Judge respondent by saying that what she had meant to say was "before" rather than "again". The District Judge refused to recuse herself. It was submitted that the refusal to admit the applicant to bail had been made unlawfully and that the detention of him on foot of that order was therefore otherwise than in accordance with law.

Held by Mr. Justice Peart in refusing the applicant's application for habeus corpus that, there had been a rational and objective basis for refusing bail and the matter could be determined on that basis. Objective bias was differed from actual bias in that it involved considering not whether the judge was actually biased but rather whether a reasonable and well informed objective bystander, having been present in Court, would consider that what had occurred could reasonably have influenced the Judge against the applicant and the application for bail. In a busy court there would be occasions on which things may be said which ought not to be said or through error. Those matters could be corrected at the time so as to remove any lingering doubt that some injustice had been done in the manner in which the case had been conducted or heard and a decision reached.

Reporter: P.C.

1

MR JUSTICE MICHAEL PEARTDELIVERED ON THE 25th DAY OF JANUARY 2010:

2

This application came before me in November 2009. At the conclusion of submissions, I gave an ex-tempore decision refusing to the relief sought namely the release of the applicant from custody, but indicated that I would prepare a written judgement containing my reasons.

Background:
3

On 30 th October 2009 the applicant was brought before Cloverhill District Court in custody, having previously been charged with certain drugs offences. On that occasion, the applicant's solicitor informed the District Judge that he was instructed toapply for bail. In due course when the case was called, the applicant's solicitor moved his application for bail. That application was opposed by a representative of the Chief Prosecution Solicitor's Office. The prosecuting Garda in his evidence outlined his objections to bail pursuant to Section 2 of the Bail Act, 1997, giving evidence of the nature and strength of the evidence alleged against the applicant, as well as giving details of a previous conviction for a drugs offence contrary to section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Acts, 1977 and 1984, following which the applicant had been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment on 4 October 2002. The court was also informed that while on bail awaiting trial on that charge, the applicant had committed further offences of dangerous driving under the Road Traffic Acts.

4

According to the applicant's solicitor's grounding affidavit sworn on 2 nd November 2009, he made submissions which included that the incident of dangerous driving which had resulted in the applicant being convicted of a number of counts of dangerous driving had not resulted in the revocation of the applicant's bail at that time and that, in any event, dangerous driving was not a serious charge within the meaning of the Bail Act. He goes on to state in paragraph 11 of his said affidavit that he submitted that the court had not heard sufficient evidence to satisfy the court that the applicant was likely to commit a serious offence while on bail, and he referred to the fact also that the applicant was entitled to the presumption of innocence in relation to the offences which were the subject of the present bail application.

5

The exchange which took place then between the District Judge...

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10 cases
  • McCormack v McCormack
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 5 December 2017
    ...between an elderly woman and her son, as in Lynn; nor one between a vulnerable elderly woman and her nephew as in Prendergast v Joyce [2009] 3 IR 519. While in the last of the three cases just mentioned, Gilligan J was careful to make clear (at 532) that the categories of relationship to wh......
  • Barry v Ennis Property Finance Dac
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 21 December 2018
    ...by Birmingham J. (as he then was) in ACC Bank v. McEllin & Ors. [2013] IEHC 454. The plaintiff also relies on Prendergast v. Joyce [2009] 3 I.R. 519 as a statement on how the presumption of undue influence is to be interpreted and rebutted. She submits that neither BOSI (who were acting i......
  • Howell Evans and Others v David Edward Rees Lloyd and Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Chancery Division
    • 24 June 2013
    ...Wilton v Farnworth (1948) 76 C.L.R. 646 and Louth v Diprose (1992) 175 C.L.R. 621. For the Republic of Ireland, see Prendergast v Joyce [2009] IEHC 199, where Langton was briefly considered. In this regard, the restrictive approach in Boustany v Piggott, above, is significant, because it be......
  • Coomey [Legal Personal Representative of John Richard Cox] v Cox
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 3 March 2023
    ...administering equitable principles have always exercised.” 20 . Similar observations were made by Gilligan J. in Prendergast v. Joyce [2009] 3 I.R. 519 at p. 532. In the same case, Gilligan J., at p. 533, emphasised that the presumption of undue influence arises from a consideration of the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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