Former Anglo official jailed for conspiring to conceal bank accounts from Revenue refused bail
An ex-Anglo Irish Bank official jailed for conspiring to conceal bank accounts from the Revenue Commissioners has been refused bail pending the outcome of his appeal in January.
Bernard Daly (67), of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to furnishing false information and conspiring to defraud the Revenue Commissioners as well as conspring to delete accounts from the bank's internal system.
He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to two years imprisonment by Judge Patrick McCartan on July 31 last.
Lawyers for Daly, who was the bank's former company secretary, told the Court of Appeal today that his trial was unfair from beginning to end.
Of the seven grounds advanced by Daly's lawyers, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the argument which “came closest” to meeting the threshold required for bail was in relation to an accomplice warning.
Such a warning was given to the jury, Mr Justice Birmingham said, in respect of a conversation Daly was said to have had with the bank's head of compliance - a Mr Gillespie.
During the trial, Mr Gillespie described a conversation in which Daly asked if he could delete a name from the list to be provided to the authorities and Mr Gillespie said 'no'.
The trial judge warned the jury of the need for caution in relation to Mr Gillespie's evidence – he referred to a need for caution - but that was not enough according to Daly's lawyers, Mr Justice Birmingham said.
Mr Guerin said the warning was meaningless and the trial judge never told the jury of the dangers of convicting on evidence given by an accomplice.
The prosecution said there was no evidence at all that Mr Gillespie was an accomplice and that all the evidence went the other way.
Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the threshold required for admitting Daly to bail had not been met.
However, the substance or otherwise of the point could only be determined by careful consideration of the transcript – which was not yet available – and the three judge court did not rule out a fresh bail application when the transcript of the trial becomes available.
Mr Justice Birmingham said the court was also prepared to facilitate an early date for hearing, as has been the recently established court's practice in all bail applications, and this was fixed for January 11 next.
Mr Guerin said Daly should be admitted to bail becuase of the interests of justice, the strong chance of his appeal being successful, his age and the difficulties he was experiencing with prison life.
The court heard that Daly is currently in Mountjoy and spends 21 hours or more in his room per day. There were options available to him as an enhanced prisoner but he could not avail of them due to his need for regular treatment for hemochromatosis.
Mr Guerin said there was not “a whit of evidence” that Daly was involved in the deletion of accounts and no evidence that he knew the list was defective.
He said Mr Gillespie did not for a moment allege that Daly knew the list was false and did not say that Daly had any hand act or part in it.
Evidence of who created the list was given to the Revenue in 2003, Mr Guerin said, but it was not produced at trial. This was the equivalent of the prosecution in a murder trial not bothering to conduct a pathology test on how the deceased had died.
He said the prosecution had a duty to seek out evidence to assist the jury such as where the list had come from, who produced it, when it was amended and by whom.
Mr Guerin said the decision to amend the indictment on the morning of the trial was a “device to keep alive charges” which couldn't otherwise have been maintained.
He said the judge erred in failing to state the defence's case to the jury and the prosecution misstated evidence to the jury which prompted an immediate application to have the jury discharged.
Mr Justice Birmingham said the application for bail was “lengthy”, encompassing 98 paragraphs.
He said a notice of appeal had been formulated by Daly's lawyers with no less than 59 grounds of appeal.
Daly's co-accused and the bank's former Chief Operations Manager, Tiarnan O'Mahoney (56), of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, who was jailed for three years in July, will seek bail later this week pending his own appeal.