Breifne O'Brien granted more time to appeal seven year sentence for deception and theft
Former businessman Breifne O'Brien has been granted an extension of time to appeal his prison sentence for inducing people to advance millions of euro to him to invest in bogus property deals.
The 54-year-old socialite, with an address at Monkstown Grove, Monkstown, Co Dublin, was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 14 sample counts of making a gain or causing a loss by deception of around €8.5m between 2003 and 2004.
During case management procedures in the Court of Appeal today, counsel for O'Brien, Patrick McCullough BL, applied for an extension of time to file an appeal against sentence, imposed by Judge Patricia Ryan on October 8 2014.
O'Brien, who was not present in court for the procedural matter, was more than four months outside the 28 day period provided for the formal filing of appeals. He also sought legal aid for the appeal.
Mr McCullough said the position was O'Brien had been on legal aid in the Circuit Court in respect of a solicitor and two counsel – junior and senior.
Solicitor Séamus Cassidy, Head of Appeals Section with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, told Mr Justice George Birmingham that the DPP would have no objection to legal aid being granted subject to the proper papers being filed.
Mr Justice Birmingham said he would provide legal aid to O'Brien on the same terms as in the Circuit Court and added that he would extend time to file notice of appeal.
When Mr McCullough said he understood that O'Brien's notice of appeal had already been lodged, Mr Justice Birmingham said that didn't “accord with what I have here”.
The judge said that if O'Brien had filed notice of appeal, “fine” and if he hadn't, he had two weeks to do so.
No legal aid application had been made to the Circuit Court judge for the purposes of an appeal.