Jailed ex-Fine Gael councillor Forsey appeals conviction
Published 01/08/2015 | 02:30
Former Fine Gael Councillor Fred Forsey has moved to appeal his conviction for receiving corrupt payments from a property developer.
Forsey (45) of Coolagh Road, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, pleaded not guilty to receiving €60,000, €10,000 and €10,000 in three corrupt payments in 2006.
But in June 2012 he was found guilty by a jury at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court and sentenced to six years in jail with the final two suspended.
Forsey moved to appeal his conviction yesterday on the grounds that the judge gave "a very serious misdirection" to the jury on how to deal with the presumption of corruption.
Counsel for Forsey, Remy Farrell SC, further submitted that the trial judge erred as his client, as a Dungarvan Town Councillor, was incapable of granting planning permission.
Counsel for the DPP, Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, said the point Forsey's lawyers were now trying to make was not raised at trial. Even if the direction was wrong, which Mr Vaughan Buckley did not concede "for a moment", he said the evidence against Forsey was "absolutely overwhelming".
President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice George Birmingham, said the court would reserve judgment.