A SOLICITOR who had been charged with deceiving a woman of €7,500 has been found not guilty.
A jury at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court were directed by Judge Pauline Codd to acquit Denis McMahon following a successful application by the defence today to stop the trial.
It had been alleged by the prosecution that on or about November 27, 2002, Denis McMahon - with an address at Pembroke Road, Dublin - dishonestly and by deception induced Margaret Duggan to give him a €7,500 bank draft with the intention of making a gain for himself or others.
Evidence had been heard since Tuesday.
Mrs Duggan hired Mr McMahon for a civil case for a personal injury claim after she injured her back while working.
She contended that in 2002, Mr McMahon said a sum of €57,000 had been agreed with the defendants.
Mrs Duggan said she only dealt with Mr McMahon and not Seamus McKenna - a barrister who worked with the solicitor.
The defence argued that the agreed figure was €65,000 and that, Seamus McKenna SC had negotiated the settlement with Mrs Duggan.
Mr McKenna - since deceased - was not interviewed by gardai and no testimony from him could be presented to the trial.
Judge Codd said Mr McKenna was identified by Mr McMahon in a statement to gardai as the barrister who negotiated the civil settlement and this had been verified by prosecution witnesses during the trial.
The judge said the credibility of Mrs Duggan is an issue.
She said she was satisfied that Mr McMahon had suffered "a grave prejudice" and ordered the jury to return a not guilty verdict.