Saturday 18 November 2017

Prison remission challenge by Alan Bradley opens

Alan Bradley pictured recently
Alan Bradley pictured recently Newsdesk Newsdesk

A man who was serving a prison sentence for conspiracy to rob a security van containing €1m cash is challenging the Minister for Justice's decision to refuse him one-third remission.

Alan Bradley (42) of Churchfields, Kentstown, Co Meath, with his brother Wayne, pleaded guilty before the Circuit Criminal Court in 2012 to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland in November 2007 at Tesco, Celbridge, Co Kildare.

Alan was sentenced to nine years imprisonment with the final two years suspended.  This was reduced on appeal to eight years with 18 months suspended.

He has since been given bail pending the outcome of his High Court challenge over his remission claim.

In that action, he claims that after undergoing a number of courses and his behaviour while serving the sentence in Portlaoise Prison, this entitled him to enhanced or one-third remission, rather than the normal one-quarter off his sentence.

Two applications he made to the Minister for additional time off his sentence were refused on the basis that he represented a risk to public safety.

Arising out of the refusals, he launched proceedings aimed at quashing the refusals. He also seeks a declaration he is entitled to enhanced remission.  

The action, which is opposed by the Minister, opened before Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh on Tuesday.

Michael O Higgins SC, for Bradley, said his client had undergone a number of educational and training courses including one in first aid. 

Counsel said the Minister says she took a number of criteria into consideration before assessing any application for enhanced remission.

Counsel said that part of the material submitted to the Minister when the application was being assessed was a four year old newspaper article concerning Bradley.

The article quoted an anonymous garda source, was out of date and should not have formed the basis of any decision made in respect of Bradley's applications in 2016 for enhanced remission, he said.

Counsel said Bradley would have been entitled to release last June had he got one-third remission, rather than the normal one-quarter. The refusal meant he had to spend approximately five more months in prison.

Bradley, who is on bail pending the outcome of the action, was present in court for the hearing.

The Minister has opposed the action and argues the Minister was entitled on the basis of the material before her to refuse the application for enhanced remission.

The case continues.

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