| 6.1°C Dublin

Bradleys' trial halted over legal aid refusal

TWO brothers facing charges of conspiracy to steal €1m in a security van robbery have had their trial halted over a refusal to grant them free legal aid.

Alan and Wayne Bradley claim last year's refusal by the Dublin Circuit Court to grant them legal aid is a breach of their constitutional rights and has created a risk that they will not receive a fair trial.

Yesterday, the High Court ordered their trial, set down for next June, should not go ahead pending judicial review proceedings over the legal aid issue.

Alan 'Fatpuss' Bradley (35) of Churchfields, Kentstown, Co Meath and Wayne Bradley (30) of Ratoath Road, Finglas, Dublin, are accused of conspiracy to commit a crime, relating to the €1m theft of cash at Tesco, Shackleton Road, Celbridge on November 2, 2007.

They claim the do not have the means to pay lawyers to defend them. Mr Justice Bryan McMahon granted them leave to challenge the refusal to grant them a legal aid certificate, and made the matter returnable to later this month.

The court heard that in November and July of last year Judge O'Donnell had refused to grant them legal aid, on grounds including the court was not satisfied with evidence they had submitted, and that the brothers had other sources of income other than those they had disclosed to the court.

It is argued that even if Judge O'Donnell was unhappy with some of the information and explanations given, there was no evidence before him to support the proposition that both are of sufficient financial means to pay their own legal expenses.

The Circuit Court, it is claimed, must be satisfied that at the time of determination of their application, the brothers must be of insufficient means to provide for legal representation. The court also heard that both have judgments against them for more than €180,000 each as a result of tax demands made by CAB, which it is claimed the Circuit Court did not take account of.