Tuesday 25 October 2016

Judge refuses to let brother and sister accused of murder out for mother's funeral

Sabrina Cummins
Sabrina Cummins
Kenneth Cummins

A judge has refused a Dublin prisoner, who is co-accused with his sister of murdering a 63-year-old man, leave to challenge a decision of the prison authorities not to facilitate his attendance at his mother’s funeral tomorrow.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy heard that the Prison Service had refused to provide Kenneth Cummins with a secure escort to attend his mother’s removal today and her funeral tomorrow.

Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC told the court that Mr Cummins’ fundamental rights had been denied by the prison authority as he was not being allowed to grieve and pay his last respects to his mother who died on Monday.

Mr Ó Lideadha said the reasons given by the Prison Service for their refusal were insufficient and irrational. He said Mr Cummins had the right to be treated with dignity.

Counsel said that the State had failed to vindicate Mr Cummins’ constitutional rights and he was now looking for an order of mandamus regarding the refusal.

READ MORE: Prison pair in bail plea for funeral of mother

The court heard that Cummins and his sister, Sabrina Cummins, both with an address at Ringsend Park, Dublin, are accused of the murder of Thomas Horan at his home  in Cambridge Court, Ringsend, Dublin, in January last year.

Mr Horan was found dead in his apartment in a sheltered accommodation for senior citizens.

Mr Justice Antony Hunt on Wednesday refused both parties bail to attend their mother’s removal or the funeral. Judge Hunt was told that the prison authorities had agreed to provide a secure escort for Ms Cummins to attend a funeral home to visit her mother’s remains.

Today’s application for a judicial review of the prison authorities’ decision not to provide a secure escort for Mr Cummins was rejected by Judge Kennedy. 

The Cumminses, who have been in custody for more than a year, are due to be tried in October. The court imposed partial reporting restrictions regarding evidence that might prejudice a fair trial.

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