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Application to prohibit criminal trial refused where matters raised can appropriately be dealt with by the trial judge

By: James Cross BL

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Court of Appeal dismisses appeal of decision of refusing judicial review proceedings seeking to prohibit the criminal trial of appellant on charges relating to the sexual abuse of minors, on the grounds that: the Court was not persuaded that it would be appropriate to halt the forthcoming trials, either generally or in respect of individual complainants. as the issues canvassed on this application are matters that can appropriately be dealt with by the trial judge.

Court of Appeal – appeal against decision refusing judicial review seeking to prohibit criminal trial - appellant is facing trial in the Circuit Court on charges relating to the sexual abuse of minors - offences are alleged to have occurred in the period between December 1978 and March 1993 – sought prohibition – High Court refused judicial review - appellant was previously charged with the sexual abuse of other minors, pleaded guilty to offences involving ten complainants, and, in February 2016, was sentenced to a term of fourteen years and two months’ imprisonment, which he is now serving - undue delay in the prosecution - contends that he has been irreparably prejudiced by the delay and by virtue of the fact that a number of people who would have had relevant evidence to contribute are now dead or unavailable - position in relation to each of the six complainants – High Court application – judgment – appeal – delay issue – contact between the complainants – commission of investigation – commission is to be conducted, in a manner that does not impact on the appellant’s rights (including his right to a fair trial) or on the complainants’ rights – unavailability of witnesses – pre-trial publicity – recent caselaw – Court not been persuaded that it would be appropriate to halt the forthcoming trials, either generally or in respect of individual complainants - issues canvassed on this application are matters that can appropriately be dealt with by the trial judge – appeal dismissed

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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