Wednesday 22 October 2014

Judge used defence of lies and half-truths, deception trial told

Conor Gallagher

Published 20/11/2012 | 05:00

A JUDGE on trial for deception has been accused of using a defence of "lies, half-truths and prevarications".

The remarks were made during the closing speeches in the trial of Heather Perrin (60), who is accused of trying to trick her long-time friend Thomas Davis into leaving half his estate to her children.

The jury was told by prosecutors that they could not accept a word of what Ms Perrin had said because of her "unreliability and changing story".

They also accused her of colluding with a witness in preparing their testimony and planting a "red herring" in the evidence to mislead the investigation.

Ms Perrin's defence team called into question the memory of Mr Davis, who is in his 80s. They pointed to an episode during the trial when Mr Davis couldn't identify himself in a photograph on his first attempt.

Evidence

The district court judge, with an address at Lambay Court, Malahide, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to deceptively inducing Mr Davis to bequeath half of his estate to Sybil and Adam Perrin at her office on Fairview Strand on January 22, 2009.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring read a summary of the evidence to the jury and advised them that Ms Perrin "is not entitled to any more or less consideration because of her position".

The jury have begun considering a verdict and spent just over a hour deliberating before being sent home for the night. They will resume their deliberations this morning.

Prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn told the jury that the issue at trial was whether it was Mr Davis's intention to leave his residual estate worth about €1m to his nieces, or whether he changed his mind and decided to add in Ms Perrin's children as equal beneficiaries.

He said all credible evidence showed that Mr Davis did not intend to benefit the Perrin children in his will aside from leaving them cash sums of €2,000 each.

He said there was no suggestion Mr Davis was making up the allegations because he doesn't have any motivation to do so.

Defence counsel Patrick Gageby told the jury that sometimes "things that look suspicious aren't suspicious" and there have been cases where the evidence seemed very strong but turned out to be false.

He said the case of Nora Wall, a nun wrongfully convicted of rape, came to mind. He said it was "a million miles away from this case" but that "miscarriages can occur when it seems blatantly obvious someone is guilty".

He also asked why, if Ms Perrin intended to enrich her children, would she be so obvious about it.

Irish Independent

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