Tuesday 12 December 2017

Wife killer Joe O’Reilly seeks legal aid to get conviction overturned

Brian Kavanagh

WIFE killer Joe O’Reilly has applied for legal aid in a bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

However, the Court of Criminal Appeal this morning put the matter back to next month’s case management list, as O’Reilly is not represented by a solicitor and the State is seeking submissions on whether the legal aid scheme extends to such applications.

In July 2007, the 38-year-old was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of the murder of wife Rachel at their home in the Naul, Co Dublin. The badly beaten body of Rachel O’Reilly (30) was found in the bedroom of her home on October 4, 2004.

Joe O’Reilly lost an appeal against that conviction in 2009, while in August of this year he failed in a subsequent attempt to have his conviction quashed after arguing his detention in the Midlands Prison was unlawful.

State solicitor Padraic Taylor told the court that O’Reilly, who was not in court for this morning’s brief hearing, had personally lodged an application under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993.

The Act states that a person who remains convicted after appeal may apply to the court to have their conviction quashed based on alleged new or newly discovered facts that show a miscarriage of justice occurred.

The court heard that O’Reilly had lodged a statement of means with the court, but was not represented by a solicitor.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman put the matter back to the next case management list in November.

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