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Nevin granted access to 'key' Garda files

Garda files relating to two key witnesses in Catherine Nevin's trial for the murder of her husband were ordered to be disclosured by the Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.

The CCA of Justice, Adrian Hardiman, presiding, sitting with Mr Justice Liam McKechnie and Mr Justice George Birmingham, ruled that "suspect" Garda forms concerning Mr Gerry Heapes and Mr John Jones be made available to lawyers representing Ms Nevin.

Counsel for Nevin sought access to a number of documents, which they claim are "highly relevant" to their client's attempt to have her 10-year-old conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

In April 2000, Nevin (58) was convicted of murdering her husband, Tom, at their pub, Jack White's Inn, Brittas Bay on March 19, 1996. She was also convicted of soliciting Mr Heapes and Mr Jones, and another man, William McClean, to kill her husband.

She alleges material, not available to her legal team at the time of her trial, represent "newly discovered facts" in her case and will assist her in undermining the credibility of the three men.





Credibility

Her lawyers argue the entire case "depended almost entirely on these three men" and that without them "there would be no murder conviction".

They also contend that if one was shown to be lacking in credibility than the "close connectivity of the other" could have caused "the case to tumble".

Mrs Nevin is serving a life sentence on the murder charge and a concurrent seven-year term on the soliciting charges. Her appeal against conviction was dismissed in 2003.

Yesterday, the court heard there were 106 "separate, suspect forms" over which privilege was being claimed.

The CCA adjourned its decision in the case. The court said it "hopes" to deliver its decision on the matter soon.

hnews@herald.ie


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