Tuesday 21 January 2020

Murder accused calls judge 'big fat pig' over video-link

John Dundon
John Dundon

Brian Kavanagh

A man called a High Court judge a "big fat pig" after the Special Criminal Court ruled he can be tried for the murder of Garryowen rugby player Shane Geoghegan next month.

Asking if he could address presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler after the ruling, John Dundon leaned into the microphone in the room where he was appearing via video-link and said: "I know I'm a Dundon, but I'm a human being . . . do you want to find me guilty now or find me guilty on another date?"

"To me, there is no fair trial there," the 29-year-old said.

When Mr Justice Butler said the court would rise, Mr Dundon could be heard saying "Okay, okay, run away," before shouting "Ya big fat pig" as he stood up and turned away from the video-link camera.

Mr Dundon's defence team had sought an adjournment until next year after they received 26,000 pages of disclosure ahead of the trial on June 4.

The court heard that the documents as well as 1,226 discs of CCTV footage, two hard drives and a memory stick, were disclosed to Madden & Finucane solicitors at the beginning of the month.

The legal firm estimates it would take 186 working days to read through the disclosed material and 295 working days to view the CCTV footage.

The State had objected to any adjournment because of "serious concerns" over the security of the proposed chief prosecution witness in the case.

Duty

Tom O'Connell, prosecuting, previously told the court that most of the documents disclosed were also generated in the course of an earlier, overlapping investigation involving a different individual represented by the same firm of solicitors.

Ruling on the application, Mr Justice Butler said the court had to balance the potential danger to life against the danger of Mr Dundon not receiving a fair trial.

Were the case not to commence, Mr Justice Butler said, it appeared there would be a long postponement as the defence could not say how long their categorisation of the disclosure would take and the court had a "full diary" in relation to sitting dates.

He said the fact remained that "very many" of the documents disclosed had been made available to the defence in a related case where Madden & Finucane were also the representing solicitors and had employed the same senior counsel.

Although the court had an "absolute duty" to ensure a fair trial, Mr Justice Butler said this trial should start on June 4.

Mr Dundon, with a last address at Hyde Road, Limerick, is due to stand trial next month for the murder of 28-year-old Shane Geoghegan at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick, on November 9, 2008. The case was brought before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in August last year.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

Irish Independent

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