Wednesday 26 October 2016

Man jailed for 14 years for attempted robbery of businessman's home appeals conviction

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Published 26/06/2015 | 14:04

Scales (stock)
Scales (stock)

A man jailed for 14 years for the attempted aggravated burglary of a Cork businessman's home has moved to appeal his conviction.

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Niall Fitzpatrick (48) from Corrin Close, the Glen, Cork, had pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to attempted aggravated burglary and the possession of a pump action shotgun and ammunition at the home of Patrick Glavin, Glanmire on August 11 2013.

He was found guilty by a jury following a three week trial and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by Judge David Riordan on November 13 2014.

Fitzpatrick moved to appeal his conviction today on 16 grounds involving the judge's failure to discharge the jury over a number of matters.

Counsel for Fitzpatrick, Brendan Nix SC, said it was the “second most unsatisfactory trial” he had ever been invovled in.

Mr Nix submitted that evidence by Garda Dan Lucey, who stated that Fitzpatrick was previously known to him, was clearly of no probative value and was prejudicial.

Furthermore, one juror sought to be excused from duty on grounds that the “jury were deliberating prior to the case being concluded” and the judge allowed the matter to be resolved through the Court Registrar going into the jury's room.

Mr Nix said he did not know what discussions took place between the registrar and the jury.

He said the registrar popped into the jury room, had his chat, came out and said 'it's all sorted'.

Mr Nix said “justice must be administerd in public” and he wouldn't have even known the discussions had taken place if it wasn't for the better hearing of his junior counsel, Paula McCarthy BL.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the court would reserve judgment.

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