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Claim of false imprisonment by Gardaí on basis of mistaken identity should not have been withdrawn from jury

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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Supreme Court allows appeal from High Court, and: (a) sets aside order withdrawing from the jury a claim of false imprisonment and trespass to the person on the part of Gardai who erroneously arrested a person on the basis of mistaken identity, on the grounds that the question of the conduct of the Gardai in kicking in the door of the detainee's apartment was a matter for the jury to determine; and (b) remits the matter to the High Court for re-hearing.

O'Donnell J (nem diss): Arrest on foot of warrant issued erroneously - claims of false imprisonment and trespass to person - arrest of person for theft - charge - bench warrant - arrest of person with same name and date of birth - wrong person - identity theft - alleged failure of Gardai to identify themselves prior to kicking in door - bail granted when arrested person appeared in District Court - psychological impact on detainee - effect on relationship with partner and daughter - deprivation of liberty - questions for jury - application for direction.

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