Wednesday 17 January 2018

Former garda accused of manslaughter to be extradited to UK after image appeared on Crimecall

Keelin Shanley on RTÉ Crimecall and inset Oliver Hurley
Keelin Shanley on RTÉ Crimecall and inset Oliver Hurley

Alison O'Riordan

The High Court has ordered the extradition of a former Garda to the UK on an alleged manslaughter charge after he handed himself in to gardai following his image appearing on RTE's Crimecall programme.

High Court judge Ms Aileen Donnelly today delivered her judgment granting the State’s application for the extradition of Oliver Hurley.

The 63-year-old Dublin man who resides in the UK is wanted by the English authorities on foot of a European Arrest warrant dated June 15, 2016.

Ms Siobhan Ni Chulachain BL for the Minister for Justice and Equality told the court that the respondent is sought for trial in the UK after Mr Manolito Chando died on April 9, 2016 following an assault at a Salvation Army hostel in Great Peter Street in London on March 24 that year.

“There is very clear CCTV evidence that the defendant pushed the victim with considerable force from which he got a head injury with a bleed to the brain which placed him in a coma. There is no justification for the degree of force used by the respondent,” said Ms Ni Chulachain.

The court heard that Mr Hurley was homeless at the time of the incident and both the respondent and the deceased were residing in the hostel at the time.

Oliver Hurley
Oliver Hurley

“Mr Hurley described the deceased running towards him saying he was going to kill him. There is little doubt that the respondent is the person who pushed the victim on March 24,” said Ms Ni Chulachain.

Mr Hurley travelled from Holyhead to Dublin on Irish Ferries on April 17 last year, the court heard.

Defence counsel, Ms Anne Fitzpatrick BL, told the court that Mr Chando was in an intoxicated state on the day in question and approached Mr Hurley in the hostel.

“The respondent sought to avoid any confrontation with the deceased and sought to defend himself. He seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and an accident occurred which is regrettable,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

Counsel told the court that her client voluntarily assisted the police with their inquiries and told them he was attacked by Mr Chando. The court heard he was granted police bail.

“Mr Hurley honestly believed he was not wanted by police with their inquiries and he voluntarily came and went between Ireland and the UK in the intervening period. He was in the UK for the month of September before returning to Ireland in October," said Ms Fitzpatrick.

Mr Hurley then voluntarily presented himself to gardai at Greystones Garda Station in Co Wicklow on October 26, 2016 after seeing himself on RTE’s Crimecall programme, the court heard.

Counsel told the court that Mr Hurley is in advanced years, in poor health and is currently residing with family members.

He retired from An Garda Siochana in 1988 and then pursued his living as a fisherman and musician.

Delivering her judgment today, Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly said this was an allegation of a serious crime of violence, namely that of manslaughter and there was a high public interest in Mr Hurley’s extradition in this case.

“He has some relatively minor health issues common in a man of his age,” she said

“It appears that the European Arrest Warrant makes it clear that the alleged assault caused the death as there is CCTV allegedly showing that this respondent pushed him with considerable force and the warrant says there was no justification for this force. In an Irish context if proven this would amount to an offence of manslaughter,” said the judge.

Ms Justice Donnelly said that the alleged push from Mr Hurley led to Mr Chando’s head injury and a bleed on the brain which resulted in him ending up in a medically induced coma.

She then made an order directing that Mr Hurley be surrendered to the UK.

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