herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Accused's Oz move plan 'on hold' over assault case delays

Zak Dunne (19) is accused of assault at a McDonald’s
Zak Dunne (19) is accused of assault at a McDonald’s

A teenager accused of assaulting and injuring another man at a fast-food restaurant wants an end to prosecution delays because he is waiting to move to Australia, a court heard.

Zak Dunne (19) has had to put "everything on hold" while awaiting trial, his lawyer said.

Judge David McHugh granted a further adjournment to the prosecution when the case came before Blanchardstown District Court.

Mr Dunne, with an address at Neilstown Gardens, Clondalkin, is charged with assault causing harm.

The offence was alleged to have happened at McDonald's, Liffey Valley Retail Park, on July 18, 2015.

The case was before the court for the service of a book of evidence on the defendant after the DPP had directed trial on indictment.

This means it was deemed too serious to be dealt with at district court level and will be sent to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has tougher sentencing powers on conviction.

However, state solicitor Mary Kate Halpin told the court the book of evidence was not ready yet.

Justice

She told Judge David McHugh she realised the prosecution was out of time for the preparation of the book.

She argued it was "in the interest of justice" for the State to be allowed an adjournment.

Mr Dunne's barrister said on a previous date that a representative of the DPP had agreed that six weeks would be sufficient time to prepare the book.

"Mr Dunne has put everything on hold," he said.

"He was going to leave the jurisdiction to go to Australia to live there, that has been put on hold."

Counsel said the delays were causing the accused difficulties and he was not consenting to an extension of time for the preparation of the book of evidence.

"We are where we are," Judge McHugh said, noting the charge and the directions of the DPP. "These things can take some time, so be it."

He adjourned the case to a date next month.

The accused has not yet indicated how he intends to plead and no details of the alleged assault were heard by the court.

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