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Judge's jailing 'won't lead to appeals flood'

LEGAL experts say the high profile jailing of former judge Heather Perrin will not spark a flood of appeals against sentences she passed.

"The sentencing of Heather Perrin yesterday has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with her work as a judge," said Paula Mullooly (below), a partner at Simon McAleese Solicitors.

The former District Court Judge was jailed for two-and-a-half years for attempting to deceive her elderly friend out of half his estate while he was a client of her solicitors firm.

However, Ms Mullooly said: "The crime was committed before she was even appointed as a judge."

She pointed out that the case centred around a particular crime on a specific date.

"I can see absolutely no legal grounds under which anybody who was previously sentenced by Heather Perrin could try and appeal as a result of her conviction," she said.

"There is no suggestion that she did anything, other than act in an entirely proper way, while she served as a District Court Judge," Ms Mullooly said.

Heather Perrin was nominated for appointment to the District Court in October 2008, and appointed by the President on 12 February 2009.

She resigned from the bench last Monday, days ahead of her sentence hearing.

She was sentenced yesterday after an eight-day trial which heard that she tricked her 82-year-old victim into bequeathing half his estate worth, about €1m, to her two children.