News Courts

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Dumbrell brothers lose appeal against conviction of murder of father of six

Peter Doyle

Published 04/07/2014 | 12:21

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Warren (right) and Jeffrey Dumbrell were found guilty of murdering Mr Cawley and jailed for life
Christopher Cawley: Father of six found dead close to his home

TWO brothers have failed in their appeal against their second conviction for murdering a father-of-six in front of his wife and children outside his home.

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Warren (40) and Jeffrey Dumbrell (34 ) were jailed for life in February 2011, after being convicted of the murder of Christopher Cawley at Tyrone Place flats in Inchicore, Dublin.

It was the second time a Central Criminal Court jury had found them guilty of the murder after their original conviction was quashed in July 2010.

The brothers, last of Emmet Place, Inchicore, had both pleaded not guilty to murdering the 33-year-old outside his flat on October 29th, 2006.

During the trial, the court was told one of the Dumbrells said: ‘Your Daddy's gone now’ to the dead man’s daughter as he walked away.

Earlier this year, Warren Dumbrell’s barrister, Michael O’Higgins SC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) that the second trial judge failed to properly direct the jury not to conduct their own internet enquiries about the case, adding that the Law Reform Commission had recommended that the Oireachtas make it an offence for jurors to consult the internet about cases.

 Mr O’Higgins also claimed Mr Justice Paul Butler erred by failing to warn the jury that the victim had a proclivity for violence and previous convictions for carrying knives.

But in a judgment delivered today by Chief Justice Susan Denham, the CCA rejected the appeal.

On the internet issue, the judgment stated that the Mr Justice Butler had directed the jury in “plain and unambiguous language”.

The judgment added: “While it is entirely a matter for the Oireachtas whether they decide to legislate, and it is entirely a matter for the Law reform Commission to consult on issues relevant to the courts, the area of directions to the jury to ensure a fair trial is not dependent on either.”

The CCA also rejected Mr O’Higgins’ argument that Mr Justice Butler had erred by failing to warn the jury about the victim’s proclivity for violence and previous convictions for the carrying of knives.

The ruling stated: “In this case the evidence of the convictions of the deceased was given late in the trial, in what appeared to be as a result of a decision alone of the second named appellant. In all the circumstances it was within the discretion of the trial judge to permit evidence of the previous convictions of the second named appellant at that time.”

Both accused also appealed the conviction on the grounds that the Mr Justice Butler had failed to charge the jury correctly on the issues of joint enterprise and common design.

But the CCA rejected this, stating: “In this case the law was explained in its essentials in the charge and recharge. It was not a complex case.”

Irish Independent

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