herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Gardai object to legal aid for attack accusedcourt: Taxi driver 'can still work'

A TAXI driver and part-time bouncer accused of violent disorder involving a gang of six men has claimed he is unemployed due to the actions of the gardai.

Derek McLoughlin (46) sought free legal aid, saying he is unable to pay his legal team.

Detective Garda Ronan McMorrow objected to legal aid, saying the accused had €510 cash when he was arrested and is paying a mortgage.

He said McLoughlin worked as a bouncer and taxi driver.

McLoughlin's lawyer, Alan Toal, said his client is now unemployed and unable to work as a taxi driver or as a security man after the "industrious nature" of the gardai ensured his licences were taken off him.

Gda McMorrow disputed this, saying he recently spoke to the taxi regulator and McLoughlin has an active licence which runs from January 10, 2010 until January 10, 2011.

The detective also said that McLoughlin still holds a licence to work as a doorman.

The accused, of Ardgillan Lawn in Balbriggan, was before Blanchardstown District Court after he was charged with violent disorder at Ballymun Town Centre on July 16.

He is also charged with two counts of causing criminal damage as well as assaulting a garda, all at Ballymun Garda Station on July 29.

Gda McMorrow said the book of evidence was not yet ready, and he sought a two-week remand in the case.

Mr Toal objected, saying McLoughlin was charged in July and the book of evidence should be ready.

He asked the judge to strike out the violent disorder charge, arguing an "essential ingredient" of it was missing as McLoughlin is, so far, the only person charged.

Mr Toal said violent disorder only occurs when three or more people "use or threaten to use unlawful violence" and the "conduct of these people, taken together, would cause fear for a person's safety".

The State solicitor said Mr Toal's arguments were "for a different day".

Judge Brian Sheridan adjourned the matter for three weeks.

hnews@herald.ie

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