Sunday 21 January 2018

Sentencing of murder bid teen adjourned after key judgment

Tadhg Costello at Dublin Central Criminal Court. Collins Courts
Tadhg Costello at Dublin Central Criminal Court. Collins Courts
Josh Leahy, who was stabbed six times. Collins Courts

Niamh O'Donoghue

The impact of a Supreme Court judgment on garda inquiries is already being felt in the criminal courts, where sentencing of a teenager for attempted murder has been adjourned.

Tadhg Costello (18) was due to be sentenced for the attempted murder of another young man, Josh Leahy, in Dublin city in May, 2012.

But Damien Colgan SC, defending, told the court that in light of a Supreme Court decision he may need to address the court and asked for a two to three-week adjournment.

On Thursday, a unanimous Supreme Court judgment quashed an attempted rape conviction, on grounds that suspects who request a lawyer cannot be questioned by gardai until they get that legal advice.

Mr Justice Paul Butler yesterday told the court the defence had to consider the Supreme Court judgment. He also said that an aspect of the probation report caused him some concern.

"In relation to sentence I received a very comprehensive probation report, and the very end of it talks about the future," said the judge.

Mr Justice Butler told the court the defence needed to consider the judgment and remanded Costello on continuing bail for sentencing on March 21 next.

Costello, of Richmond Hill, Monkstown, had pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Josh Leahy at Johnson's Court in Dublin city on May 31, 2012.

He had also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Leahy and unlawful possession of a knife on the same date.

But Costello changed his plea to guilty of attempted murder on the fifth day of his Central Criminal Court trial last November.

On that date Paul Burns SC, prosecuting, told the court the plea was acceptable and the other two counts would be taken into consideration.

Costello's guilty plea came following a decision by the judge on foot of two days of legal argument over the admissibility of Costello's garda interview recordings.

Mr Leahy was stabbed six times in the back after he left a nightclub in South William Street in Dublin 2. He suffered a collapsed lung and had a chest drain inserted at St James's Hospital.

Irish Independent

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