Reade v Judge Reilly and Another

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Charleton
Judgment Date26 February 2007
Neutral Citation[2007] IEHC 44
CourtHigh Court
Date26 February 2007

[2007] IEHC 44

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 208 JR/2006]
READE v JUDGE REILLY & DPP
JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

AIDAN READE
APPLICANT

and

JUDGE REILLY AND THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLICPROSECUTIONS
RESPONDENTS

NON FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S3

NON FATAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1997 S15

JURIES ACT 1927

DE BURCA v AG 1976 IR 38

EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT 1972 S3(3)

MCKEVITT, STATE v DELAP 1981 IR 125

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1967 S19

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S2(2)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1997 S8

PROHIBITION OF FORCIBLE ENTRY & OCCUPATION ACT 1971 S7(A)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1951 S2

CONSTITUTION ART 38

CONSTITUTION ART 38.1

CONSTITUTION ART 38.2

CONSTITUTION ART 38.5

ROLLINSON, STATE v KELLY 1984 IR 248 1984 ILRM 625

MELLING v O MATHGHAMHNA 1962 IR 1

DPP, PEOPLE v QUILLIGAN 1993 2 IR 305

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1967 S4P

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1967 S4N

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1999 S9

CONROY v AG & ANOR 1965 IR 411

DPP v DOUGAN 1996 1 IR 544 1997 1 ILRM 550

CONSTITUTION ART 34.3.2

PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT 1974

MCDONAGH, STATE v O HUADAIGH UNREP MCMAHON 09.03.1979 1979/6/1088

HOLLAND, STATE v KENNEDY 1977 IR 193

FEENEY v DISTRICT JUSTICE CLIFFORD 1989 IR 668

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1984 S12(10

MEAGHER v O'LEARY & ORS 1998 4 IR 33 1998 1 ILRM 211

O'HAGAN v DELAP 1982 IR 213 1983 ILRM 241

OFFENCE

Summary prosecution

Trial on indictment - Minor offence - Offences capable of being tried summarily or on indictment - Test for determining whether offence minor - Duty of District Court Judge to insure non-minor offences tried by jury - Whether District Court judge can reverse previous acceptance of jurisdiction - The State (McEvitt) v Delap [1981] IR 125, The State (Holland) v Kennedy [1977] IR 193, The State (Rollinson) v Kelly [1984] IR 248 and Melling v Ó Mathghamhna [1962] IR 1 applied; The State (O'Hagan) v Delap [1982] IR 213 and The State (McDonagh) v Ó hUadhaigh (Unrep, McMahon J, 9/3/1979) followed - Criminal Justice Act 1951 (No 2), s 2(2) - Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997 (No 4), s 8 - Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 (No 26), ss 3 and 15 - Constitution of Ireland 1937, Article 38 - Relief refused (2006/208JR - Charleton J - 26/2/2007) [2007] IEHC 44

Reade v Judge Michael Reilly

the applicant was charged with two offences contrary to sections 3 and 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. On the return date, after perusing some of the statements, the respondent decided to accept jurisdiction. At the trial, after hearing some viva voce evidence, the respondent then decided that it was not a minor offence and adjourned the case so that a trial could take place before a jury in the Circuit Court. The applicant applied to the High Court for an order compelling the respondent to hear and determine the case.

Held by Mr Justice Charleton in refusing the relief sought:

1. that the judicial function involved the setting of an effective and appropriate penalty when an accused was found guilty.

2. That the duty of the District Court, in dealing with offences which had a dual mode of trial, involved the court in assessing the facts and the potential penalty that a conviction could attract and the only way to give effect to Article 38.5 of the Constitution was by the District Court assuming the jurisdiction to ensure that the accused was afforded his constitutional right to a trial by jury where, on a judicial assessment of the facts, the charge was not a minor one.

3. That the fundamental duty of the District Court was to ensure that the right of the accused to trial by jury in respect of non-minor offences was upheld and that even if a District Judge took a preliminary view that the papers before him disclosed a minor offence, the court was still under a constitutional imperative to ensure that the case was tried with a jury should it emerge on a further perusal of the facts, or on hearing the evidence at the trial, that the case involved a non-minor offence. That duty continued up to the point of conviction, at which time the power to decide that an offence being tried summarily was not a minor one was spent.

Reporter: P.C.

Facts
1

1. The applicant seeks an order compelling Judge Reilly to hear a case in which he is accused of two offences contrary to s. 3 and s. 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997.The offences with which he is charged are stated in two District Court summonses as follows:-

2

"1. That you, the said accused did, on the 25/07/2004 at Black Rose Studios, Menlough, Galway in the said District Court area of Mount Bellew, falsely imprisoned Karen Gleeson. Contrary to s. 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997,

2

That you, the said accused did, on the 25/07/2004 at Black Rose Studios, Menlough, Galway in the said District Court area of Mount Bellew, assaulted one Karen Gleeson causing her harm. Contrary to s. 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997."

2

2. I need to refer to some of the facts of this case. Since May, 2004, Karen Gleeson, according to her statement given to theGardaí in the aftermath of this alleged assault, lived with the applicant. She had also lived there for four or five months from the summer of 2003. Aidan Reade and Karen Gleeson had been going out for about a year and a half prior to the alleged assault. In her statement she complains of Mr. Reade's temper and of having received about seven beatings. Early on the morning in question they were apparently both in bed when a text message came through for Karen Gleeson. There apparently was a row over the noise, over who should have the phone and whether the text was from someone who might cause him jealousy. She alleges that he got on top of her, put his hand around her throat, slapped her across the face, dragged her off the bed, told her to leave the house, then pulled her back by the hair and generally abused her. She claims that when she went out the door she realised that her face "was covered in blood". She then rang the Gardaí and it is claimed that the assault recommenced with him leaning on her elbows and hitting her. This was interspersed with a barely rational conversation and then, according to Ms. Gleeson, an assault began again where she was tied up with a dressing gown cord and imprisoned. She claims to have hit the redial button, to the Garda station, whereupon the Gardaí possibly came to the door, knocked on it and then went away having received no answer. Another interlude of beating occurred and then the Gardaí arrived. Karen Gleeson made an immediate complaint. She had bruising to her arms, chin and head. For his part, Aidan Reade claims that Karen Gleeson was jealous, suspected an affair and became hysterical with him in the bedroom and house on the morning on which he is supposed to have assaulted her. His account is that some cuts were caused by her teeth braces in the course of him trying to keep her quiet by putting his hand over her mouth. Statements have also been disclosed raising an issue as to the behaviour of Karen Gleeson towards other people. Of course, I can resolve none of the facts of this. I have no idea as to whether any of this happened or whether, if any of it did, it was assisted by the usual cause of excess alcohol consumption.

Issues
3

3. The applicant was summonsed to appear before Mount Bellew District Court on 3rd March, 2005. What happened on that day was that the learned District Judge was fixing a list of trial dates and it was therefore sensible of him to see whether or not this was a case in respect of which he could accept jurisdiction. He asked the prosecuting Garda whether he could look through the relevant statements. After a couple of minutes perusal he indicated that he would accept jurisdiction in the case. The defence solicitor then made an application for details of telephone logs between Mount Bellew Garda Station and Ballinasloe Garda Station. The matter was put in for trial on 1st December, 2005. In the interim there was correspondence in relation to telephone records and photographs of the injuries to Ms. Gleeson. On 1st December, 2005, the trial commenced with the evidence of Karen Gleeson. After some minutes of her evidence the learned District Judge intervened and stated that he was sorry but he was stopping the trial because, as far as he was concerned, it did not fall within his jurisdiction. In other words, it was not a minor offence. The matter was adjourned to 5th January, 2006, for the service of a book of evidence, so that a trial could take place before a jury in Galway Circuit Court.

4

4. This case raises issues as to the distinction between minor and non-minor offences and the manner in which the courts should properly dispose of same. The applicant has argued that where, as in this case, the DPP has elected for trial before the District Court, that the judge has no choice in the matter and must abide by the jurisdiction chosen for him. Secondly, he has argued that the judge's decision of 3rd March, 2005, remained binding on him and he had no power to go back on it. Thirdly, given that the learned District Judge was hearing the evidence which he had previously read, it is argued that if there is a power to change an order that the District Court would accept jurisdiction in a criminal case it can only be done on evidence. Fourthly, it is argued that the procedure was unfair, that the applicant was hoping that the charges against him would have been disposed of in December, 2005, whereas, if an order is not granted by this court, he how has to face into the uncertainty of a jury trial.

The District Court
5

5. Historically, criminal offences were tried by a jury. The composition of juries over the centuries had reflected the desire of the establishment to remain in...

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4 cases
  • Gormley v Judge Smyth & DPP
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 28 January 2010
    ...2 I.R. 286; [1994] 1 I.L.R.M. 529. Kelly v. The Director of Public Prosecutions [1996] 2 I.R. 596, [1997] 1 I.L.R.M. 69. Reade v. Reilly [2007] IEHC 44, [2007] 1 I.L.R.M. 504; [2009] IESC 66, [2010] 1 I.R. 295; [2009] 2 I.L.R.M. 467. The State (McEvitt) v. Delap [1981] I.R. 125. Judicial Re......
  • Reade v Judge Reilly and Another
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    • Supreme Court
    • 31 July 2009
    ...on a further perusal of the facts, or on hearing the evidence at the actual trial itself, that the case involved a non-minor offence (see [2007] IEHC 44, [2007] 1 I.L.R.M. 504). The applicant appealed to the Supreme Court. Held by the Supreme Court (Murray C.J., Finnegan and Macken JJ.), in......
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    • 30 October 2013
    ...[2002] 3 I.R. 260; [2003] 1 I.L.R.M. 178. Gormley v. Smyth [2008] IEHC 266, [2010] IESC 5, [2010] 1 I.R. 315. Reade v. Reilly [2007] IEHC 44, [2007] 1 I.L.R.M. 504 (H.C.); [2009] IESC 66, [2010] 1 I.R. 295; [2009] 2 I.L.R.M. 467 (S.C.). Robinson v. O'Donnell [2009] IESC 51, (Unreported, Sup......
  • D v The Director of Public Prosecutions
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    • 16 November 2023
    ...be imposed, appraised from the standpoint of an ordinary citizen, is the primary criterion. As Charleton J. observed in Reade v. O'Reilly [2007] IEHC 44 at para. 10, “the test which is applied is to look at the nature of the offence, the charge that is alleged, and the facts that the prosec......

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