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State sued for giving Jerry McGrath bail


Newsy

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Aug 23, 2009
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The High Court is to be asked if the state can be held responsible for crimes committed by violent and dangerous offenders while they are on bail.

The widower of Sylvia Roche Kelly, a 34-year-old mother from Clare who was murdered by an offender on bail while facing two serious charges, has issued proceedings against the state.

The suit claims the killer should not have been given bail, because he posed a significant threat to the public.

Sylvia was murdered by Jerry McGrath, a 24-year-old unemployed man from Dundrum, Co Tipperary, at a hotel in Limerick in December 2007. McGrath was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October.

McGrath was also facing charges relating to a serious assault on a female taxi driver.

Gwen Bowen, a solicitor acting for Lorcan Roche Kelly, confirmed that proceedings have been issued against the state alleging negligence. A complaint has also been lodged with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.

The legal action has attracted interest from lawyers, victims’ groups and civil rights organisations because for the first time it may be decided if the government, the courts and the gardai have a legal obligation to deny and oppose bail to suspects who pose a danger.

State sued for giving killer Jerry McGrath bail - Times Online
 

Catalpa

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was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October

Given the shocking circumstances of that case the mind boggles any Judge would grant this individual Bail.

As I said B4 and I'll say again we need to have Judges chosen by Election of the People.
 

Newsy

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was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October

Given the shocking circumstances of that case the mind boggles any Judge would grant this individual Bail.
It truly is shocking.

This whole issue should have been tackled, years ago.

Why does it have to come to this, when an action is being taken against the State, to protect the citizens of the said State :confused:.
 

kerrynorth

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It will be an interesting case. From the point of view of the Dept of Justice and the Government this is a case that they just cannot lose. The appaling vista for them is being made liable for the actions for those on bail and if they are to hold more people in remand where do they put them? Also, if this case were to succeed then every citizen who is a vicitim of a crime by a person who entered the country illegally but are left free to run around under the asylum direct provision system could also sue the government. It would mean the government would have to introduce compulsory detention pending the final determination of an application.

I think the Plaintiff is looking to put the issue front and centre in public debate rather than having an expectation of succeeding.
 

Newsy

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The appaling vista for them is being made liable for the actions for those on bail and if they are to hold more people in remand where do they put them?
But isn't it raising the issue that those who are charged with 'serious' crimes, not be given bail? Protecting the public.
 

nonpartyboy

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Dec 24, 2006
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Fair play to this lady for trying to get the wasters in the dail to actually do what there supposed to do, look after the irish people. Off the top of my head i can think of at least 4 people murdered by people who clearly should have been in custody at the time,it always amazes me how mary harney can get an emergency act through the dail in 1 day ,if something is going to cost the state a few bob, but protecting the public can wait.Que loads of what if's and but's from our legal cohort.
 

Glenshane2

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The High Court is to be asked if the state can be held responsible for crimes committed by violent and dangerous offenders while they are on bail.

The widower of Sylvia Roche Kelly, a 34-year-old mother from Clare who was murdered by an offender on bail while facing two serious charges, has issued proceedings against the state.

The suit claims the killer should not have been given bail, because he posed a significant threat to the public.

Sylvia was murdered by Jerry McGrath, a 24-year-old unemployed man from Dundrum, Co Tipperary, at a hotel in Limerick in December 2007. McGrath was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October.

McGrath was also facing charges relating to a serious assault on a female taxi driver.

Gwen Bowen, a solicitor acting for Lorcan Roche Kelly, confirmed that proceedings have been issued against the state alleging negligence. A complaint has also been lodged with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.

The legal action has attracted interest from lawyers, victims’ groups and civil rights organisations because for the first time it may be decided if the government, the courts and the gardai have a legal obligation to deny and oppose bail to suspects who pose a danger.

State sued for giving killer Jerry McGrath bail - Times Online
It is a pity that the judge who granted the bail could not be sued.
 

Newsy

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Catalpa

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It is a bum point. When she loses, she will lose her house. And another chorus of the mob will be shocked on Joe Duffy/P.ie.

No one yet has quoted the Bail act, whether the State ie gardai objected to bail or whether they had any evidence under the Bail Act that a serious crime was to be committed. Sounds like no.
If you read the circumstances surrounding the attempted abduction of that young girl

- you would seriously question what Planet that Judge lives on in granting Bail in the 1st place!
 

cricket

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was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October

Given the shocking circumstances of that case the mind boggles any Judge would grant this individual Bail.

As I said B4 and I'll say again we need to have Judges chosen by Election of the People.
A proposal that , no doubt , is inspired by the calibre of person we currently elect to public office.
Did the Gardaí oppose bail in the abduction case ?

I think what's needed is a process where, if bail is given against Garda wishes, a quick appeals system to another body should be in place, with the accused remaining in custody in the meantime. It should involve the judge justifying his decision to that body.
 

cry freedom

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It will be an interesting case. From the point of view of the Dept of Justice and the Government this is a case that they just cannot lose. The appaling vista for them is being made liable for the actions for those on bail and if they are to hold more people in remand where do they put them? Also, if this case were to succeed then every citizen who is a vicitim of a crime by a person who entered the country illegally but are left free to run around under the asylum direct provision system could also sue the government. It would mean the government would have to introduce compulsory detention pending the final determination of an application.

I think the Plaintiff is looking to put the issue front and centre in public debate rather than having an expectation of succeeding.
Nail on the head kerrynorth !
 

Mossy Heneberry

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THE Garda commissioner is due to be presented with an extensive file into alleged criminal malpractice and indiscipline by gardaí in the Cavan/Monaghan district that highlights several potentially criminal acts by gardaí.
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It has also emerged that the husband of murdered mother-of-two Sylvia Roche Kelly is suing the state for alleged garda negligence, and among those accused of dereliction of duty are officers from Bailieborough. The 33-year-old was murdered following a brutal attack by Gerard McGrath at Limerick's Clarion Hotel in December 2007. He was sentenced to life for her murder in January. Seven months earlier, McGrath was granted bail having been charged in connection with an attack on a woman taxi driver in Bailieborough.

It will be alleged that gardaí at Bailieborough failed to investigate the attack on the woman taxi driver thoroughly. The taxi driver was not given the opportunity by gardaí to testify against McGrath in court and give evidence about how he dragged her from her taxi, choked her and threatened to kill her.
Garda commissioner to get report on criminal malpractice
 

USER1234

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Jan 31, 2009
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As I said B4 and I'll say again we need to have Judges chosen by Election of the People.
No, the judge should be working on his job all the time not working on re-election and anyway if judges are elected that could compromise there impartiality if they come across a case that effects somebody who help get them into office!!!
 

Abacus

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No one yet has quoted the Bail act, whether the State ie gardai objected to bail or whether they had any evidence under the Bail Act that a serious crime was to be committed. Sounds like no.
The suggestion that "a serious crime was to be committed" is not transmutable in regard to evidence.
One cannot offer as factual evidence something that has not yet happened.
Having said that, it seems to be the case that bail was not strongly opposed in this instance and this can happen quite easily if the person representing the state (prosecution) is not properly briefed and does not put forward a robust position for keeping the accused in custody.
 

seanmoylantd

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Anyone know what the outcome was?A bit of Saudi Justice on the Judge concerned would warm the cockles of my heart.
 

Bleu Poppy

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was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October

Given the shocking circumstances of that case the mind boggles any Judge would grant this individual Bail.

As I said B4 and I'll say again we need to have Judges chosen by Election of the People.
Unfortunately, practically the world over bail cannot be refused on the grounds that an accused may offend again while awaiting trial. It may be refused if there is a potential flight risk, or if the charges on which the accused are arraigned are extremely serious, or the penalty is the death sentence. It may also be refused if there is the potential for witnesses to be intimidated- Bail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Such are the rights of freedom many a Western democracy, and elsewhere.
 

Bleu Poppy

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It is a pity that the judge who granted the bail could not be sued.
It would appear that the Judge would not have been made aware of the previous offence, and the fact that the man before him was already on bail in respect of another offence.

By rights, as soon as the arresting Gardaí in Tipperary were made aware of the previous accusation, and the fact that he was out on bail, McGrath ought to have been brought to court to have the bail rescinded. But, were the Tipperary Gardaí aware of the previous incident?

I know of a case in this area where a bloke accused of rape, and out on bail, was thrown out of a public park for being drunk- which is an offence, but classed as a misdemeanor. It was only later in the day, after he had broken into a car, that he was arrested and brought to court to have the bail rescinded. He spent the rest of the time before his trial behind bars, where he remains.
 

44percent

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Unfortunately, practically the world over bail cannot be refused on the grounds that an accused may offend again while awaiting trial. It may be refused if there is a potential flight risk, or if the charges on which the accused are arraigned are extremely serious, or the penalty is the death sentence. It may also be refused if there is the potential for witnesses to be intimidated- Bail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Such are the rights of freedom many a Western democracy, and elsewhere.
Here it is. Someone somewhere sometime decided that the only grounds for denying bail are X Y and Z. This is to be immutable for all time as it represents to a certain thinking the very zenith of human thought. The reality is that human rules can be changed to suit the people who are sovereign, not lawyers, not judges and least of all politicians. Bail rules should be changed so that if there is suspicion of reoffending then bail is to be refused. If remand places are scarce divert some of the 400 million from the third world aid budget to the task. If only we could have a government that governed for the benefit of the Irish people, not banks, not ideologues, not the party hacks.
 
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