News Courts

Friday 22 November 2019

'There is bit of a contradiction here - you are on legal aid and going on sun holiday in January' - Judge tells man in court

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A JUDGE has queried how a young man on free legal aid can afford to take a winter sun holiday in the Canary Islands.

Clayton Cahill (23) insisted the planned January break in Lanzarote was a Christmas surprise from his father, who he has "not seen in years".

Mr Cahill, who is facing charges of being a passenger in a stolen car and drug possession, told Judge Michael Walsh he could not afford to pay for his own defence and was not funding the holiday himself.

Judge Walsh said he wanted to "see the ticket" and for the accused's father to come to court to back up his explanation.

Mr Cahill, of Crumlin Park is charged with possession of cannabis at South Circular Road on November 28, 2013. He is also charged with being a passenger in a stolen vehicle at Ballymun Road on November 3, 2014.

Mr Cahill has not yet indicated a plea to the charges.

Legal aid had been granted previously but the issue arose when the case was being adjourned and solicitor Tony Collier asked, on Mr Cahill's behalf, for a later remand date.

When asked why by the judge, the accused said it was because he would be on holiday in Lanzarote, which was a surprise from his father.

"I haven't seen him in years," the accused said. "He lives on the northside somewhere."

The judge asked Mr Cahill if his father could come to court to tell him about "this proposed holiday".

"I have concerns you are going away on holiday to Lanzarote," the judge said. "I have to make sure you don't have means at your disposal to pay for your own defence."

"I definitely don't," the accused replied.

"There is a bit of a contradiction here - you are on legal aid and you are going on a sun holiday in January."

The judge said he would give the accused until tomorrow to have his father in court.

"I am not going to cancel his legal aid, I just want a bit more insight into how he is financing all this," the judge said.

hnews@herald.ie

Herald

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