Wednesday 28 June 2017

Sex-assault bouncer's appeal stalled by paperwork

Edel Kennedy and Elaine Keogh

THE girlfriend of a bouncer convicted of sexual assault has vowed that they will continue to fight to clear his name despite an issue with paperwork which meant he could not appeal his conviction this week.

Danny Foley was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment last December, with the final two suspended, after being found guilty of the sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman in July 2008.

There were extraordinary scenes prior to his sentencing when up to 50 locals -- including a priest -- shook his hand and hugged him in the court, just yards away from the victim.

Last night Foley's girlfriend Michelle O'Sullivan said they were continuing to push ahead with the appeal against his conviction and sentence. She said there had been a problem with the paperwork lodged with the courts but the solicitors were working to sort it out.

Yesterday an application was made by barrister Pat Purcell on Foley's behalf to Judge Donagh McDonagh who had presided over the trial in Kerry and who was sitting yesterday in Trim Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Purcell asked the judge to extend the time within which he could make an application seeking a certificate for leave to appeal conviction and sentence.

However, he later withdrew his motion but it is expected a new one will be made before the judge in the near future.

As part of his initial application yesterday, Mr Purcell said that after the conviction in Tralee an application was made to him (the judge) for a certificate for leave to appeal the severity of the sentence.

However, he said it should have been for both conviction and sentence. Mr Purcell said the relevant affidavit from Foley and papers lodged with the court in Tralee had referred to it being leave to appeal conviction and sentence.

However, reference was only made to severity of sentence at the court in Tralee and when the matter was before the Court of Criminal Appeal earlier this week Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman told Mr Purcell that as a result the court had no jurisdiction to hear the full appeal.

Yesterday Judge McDonagh refused to extend the time and was told by Mr Purcell there was no other possible way for Foley to appeal the matter.

Later in the day Mr Purcell mentioned case law on the issue before asking to withdraw the motion. The judge allowed him to do that and it is understood another motion will be brought before the judge in the near future.

Extension

If the judge allows Foley the time extension, he will then be able to lodge an appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeal.

During yesterday's hearing Judge McDonagh said the Kerry jury of 10 men and two women had considered their verdict over four hours and returned a unanimous verdict of guilty. Foley has now been placed on the sex offenders' list.

The judge said the trial had been conducted by the prosecution with probity and it was a verdict he "personally and fully agreed with in the particular circumstances".

The 35-year-old, of Meen, Listowel, Co Kerry, had claimed in last year's trial that he had found "yer wan" naked from the waist down outside the nightclub when he went to relieve himself. However, CCTV footage showed him carrying her there. The victim said she had been shunned in the community afterwards.

Irish Independent

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