A person alleged to have terrified two younger girls by peering into the home windows of their South Dublin house within the early hours of the morning has didn’t halt his prosecution.
The Excessive Courtroom’s Ms Justice Siobhán Stack discovered prosecutorial delay of 3½ years didn’t breach the person’s honest trial rights for causes together with as a result of a lot of the delay was because of the affect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the courts.
In balancing the person’s rights and the appropriate to have offences prosecuted, any try to classify this alleged crime as being not directly trivial in nature can be “completely misconceived”, she mentioned.
Ought to the statements of the feminine witnesses be accepted on the District Courtroom trial, which is completely a matter for the trial choose, the ladies had been precipitated an excessive amount of concern and anxiousness and feared for their very own private security, she mentioned.
There may be, she mentioned, a “clear public curiosity” in prosecution to vindicate the dignity, privateness and security of girls in their very own properties.
The person denies a cost of trespass on the gated house complicated in Ballsbridge in such a fashion as precipitated or was more likely to trigger concern in one other individual, within the early hours of Could fifteenth, 2018.
Various residents had asserted he was peering within the home windows of their properties that morning and two girls residents of 1 house made statements they had been “terrified” by the incident.
It was claimed the person had been participating in related behaviour the earlier morning, Could 14th, 2018, main the 2 younger girls to ask a male good friend to come back and stick with them. That night, they arrange a CCTV recording which is a part of the proof for the person’s trial.
In her lately revealed judgment, Ms Justice Stack famous that when cautioned previous to his arrest the person mentioned he was within the space of the event to see a lady whom he beforehand had a relationship with.
A garda who investigated the incident was directed in August 2018 to provoke a prosecution, utilized for a summons the next month and obtained a return date of December twentieth, 2018.
When the person failed to show up in courtroom on that date, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. When it was executed some 5 months later, he was admitted to bail and the case was adjourned on a number of dates throughout 2019 for the prosecuting garda to make a disclosure. Disclosure was delayed till November 2019 as a result of the garda was absent from work for a interval because of sickness.
The case was subsequent earlier than the District Courtroom in early February 2020 when the person pleaded not responsible.
As a result of Covid-19 pandemic, a July 2020 listening to date was vacated as a part of a block adjournment of all felony trials the place an accused was on bail. A listening to date was finally mounted for late March 2022 however was placed on maintain pending the end result of the person’s judicial evaluation, which he initiated within the interim.
The choose mentioned the delay in bringing the person to trial was primarily because of a worldwide public well being emergency which necessitated “extraordinary” responses by the State, together with the courts.
It had not been established the person ought to have been handled in a different way from different individuals who had been, in March 2020, remanded on bail and awaiting trial within the District Courtroom, she mentioned.
There is no such thing as a particular prejudice to the person’s trial, she mentioned. Any common prejudice arising from the passage of time and its impact on the recollection of witnesses can and must be handled by the trial choose who’s obliged to vindicate the person’s rights, she mentioned.
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