Sunday 17 November 2019

Convicted robber loses appeal for enhanced remission

Darren Doody, of Oriel Street, Dublin, who had denied false imprisonment, in October 2006.Pic: Courtpix
Darren Doody, of Oriel Street, Dublin, who had denied false imprisonment, in October 2006.Pic: Courtpix

Tim Healy

A CONVICTED robber's legal challenge against a refusal to grant him enhanced remission of his four year jail sentence has been dismissed.

The High Court action was brought by Darren Doody (aged 45) who in 2012 was jailed for his part in a robbery in which a gang of four masked men tied up a woman with a phone charger cable before ransacking her home for money.

Doody, of Oriel Street, Dublin, denied falsely imprisoning the victim at Rochford Park in Kill, Co Kildare, on October 29, 2006. He was found guilty after a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Currently incarcerated at Wheatfield Prison in Dublin, Doody, who has 14 previous convictions, claimed he was entitled to enhanced remission under the prison rules for good behaviour.

He has also completed many educational and training courses as well as attending with the prison's psychology service.

The Minister for Justice refused Doody's application, which would have led to his early release, due to the gravity of his offence and the potential threat to the safety and security of members of the public.

In his proceedings against the Minister, the Irish Prison Service and the Governor of Wheatfield Prison, Doody challenged the  refusal for one third remission of his sentence.  He argued he was entitled to one third, as opposed to the normal one quarter, remission.

He argued the seriousness of the offence could not act as a bar to additional remission. The threat to the public had never previously been suggested and was no basis to refuse his application, it was also claimed.

The refusal was based on a confidential report furnished to the Minister by the gardai concerning Doody likelihood to re-offend.

Doody's lawyers were never given sight of the garda report which, they argued, was fundamentally unfair to their client.

The Minister and the prison authorities opposed the application.

Dismissing the application, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said Doody had failed to show that the Minister's refusal to grant enhanced remission was unjust or arbitrary.

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