Wednesday 22 November 2017

Dundon brothers refused permission to bring new appeals

John Dundon (left) and his brother Wayne
John Dundon (left) and his brother Wayne

LIMERICK brothers Wayne and John Dundon have been refused permission to bring fresh appeals to the Supreme Court against their convictions on charges of threatening to kill.

In separate published determinations, a three judge Supreme Court ruled neither brother had met the necessary requirements entitling them to appeal before that court.

Wayne Dundon had advanced a "dressed-up appeal" and neither brother had shown that any issue of general public importance arose in their cases, or that the interests of justice required, a fresh appeal, the court held.

Wayne Dundon (37), Lenihan Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, was jailed for six years after being convicted at the non-jury Special Criminal Court in 2012 of threatening Alice Collins he would kill or cause serious harm to her sons Gareth and Jimmy at Hyde Avenue, Limerick, on September 30, 2010.

He was also found guilty of intimidating, on the same date,  potential prosecution witnesses, Alice and April Collins, with the intention of obstructing the course of justice.

His younger brother, John Dundon (33), Hyde Road, Limerick, was also found guilty in 2012 of threatening to kill April Collins on the weekend of April 3 and 4, 2011. He was jailed for five and a half years.

After the Court of Appeal dismissed appeals by both brothers against their convictions, they sought permission to bring further appeals to the Supreme Court.

In its determinations published this week, the court refused leave for further appeals in both cases.

It found Wayne Dundon had advanced a "dress-up appeal" against the decision of the Court of Appeal in his case.

The court said this application sought the Supreme Court to reach a different conclusion relating to the Court of Appeal's refusal to admit new evidence, records of phone conversations between Alice Collins and her husband Jimmy,  while applying the same principles of law.

Wayne Dundon argued those transcripts raised issues about Alice Collins' credibility.

The Supreme Court said it was not being asked to address a point of general public importance and this application was rather a challenge to how the Court of Appeal had applied well-established legal tests concerning admission of evidence.

The core issue was whether or not the items of evidence reached the necessary legal threshold and the Court of Appeal had correctly held they did not, it said. What was being criticised here was nothing more than application of well-established legal tests.

Dealing with John Dundon's application, the Supreme Court said it was argued he was entitled to an appeal arising from the manner in which the non-jury trial court dealt with identification evidence.

It was argued its ruling did not expressly state the members of that court had reminded themselves of the caution which must be exercised in relation to identification  evidence.

Refusing an appeal, the Supreme Court held there was no arguable basis for the "novel proposition" that professional judges are required to either warn themselves about identification evidence or to demonstrate in their rulings in each and every case that they have applied each and every element of criminal law.

That proposition was "unstateable", Dundon had raised no point of general public importance entitling him to a further appeal and nor did the interests of justice require an appeal, it held.

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