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Stokes left with legal bill after charge dropped


John Stokes. Photo: Courtpix

John Stokes. Photo: Courtpix

John Stokes. Photo: Courtpix

THE State will not have to pay the legal costs of a publican who was accused of threatening another pub owner to close their premises within 24 hours.

All charges were dropped against John Stokes (57), who owned the Players Lounge in Fairview, after his trial collapsed following legal argument. His defence team was seeking to have the State pay the costs of the four-day trial.

Mr Stokes is the father of Celtic and Ireland footballer Anthony Stokes.

Yesterday, Judge Carmel Stewart said that she was making no order for costs against the prosecution.

She noted that past legal rulings state that a person may be entitled to their costs if they are acquitted by a jury or by direction of a trial judge.

However, she said there is no authority that states that an accused is entitled to costs when the charges against them have been withdrawn, as happened in Mr Stokes’s case. She said that as a result, she has no jurisdiction to make an order for costs against the State.

Mr Stokes’s solicitor Michael Staines indicated he would be appealing the decision.

Mr Stokes (55), who has an address in England, Daryl Mulcahy (23), of Matt Talbot Court, and Derek Nolan (32), from north Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to demanding with menaces that Shane Simpson close the Castle Inn Public House in Summerhill “within 24 hours” on March 13, 2011.

Mr Stokes had also pleaded not guilty to the assault of Shane Simpson on the same date.

The three men went on trial in April last year but the trial collapsed following several legal issues.

Last March the prosecution told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the Director of Public Prosecutions was withdrawing all counts and would not be proceeding with a re-trial.

Mr Stokes had also been charged with unlawfully possessing cocaine worth €200 and two stun guns at the Players Lounge, on April 8, 2011. These charges have also been dropped, the court heard.


Before the end of the trial, one of the complainants, Mr Simpson, testified that he had lied about allegations to gardai because crime journalist Paul Williams told him he was going to be shot.

Mr Simpson claimed that the statement he gave to gardai alleging the threats against him and the pub were false and that what really happened was more benign.

He told prosecuting counsel that he made up the accusations about the threats after being interviewed by Mr Williams concerning the incident.

He said the journalist convinced him that if he didn’t “go further” with the matter his life would be in danger and he would have to leave the country and not come back.