herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Burglary raid DNA case struck out over warrant

A MAN who was facing a charge of aggravated burglary has had his case dropped because the warrant gardai used to arrest him at his family home is now unconstitutional.

Alan Wilson (33), of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, was facing a charge of aggravated burglary at a south Dublin couple's home on February 3, 2010.

The burglary was carried out in Templeogue in February 2010. Four masked men burst into a couple's home when the woman was preparing to go to Mass and her husband was on the phone.



threatened

They tied up the man and threatened both him and his wife while demanding cash.

The man dropped the phone as the raiders forced their way into his house but the call remained connected and gardai were alerted by the person he had been talking to.

The burglars had left by the time gardai arrived on the scene. Michael O'Higgins, defending, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court a woollen hat was later found in a neighbouring garden and forensically analysed. There were three DNA profiles found on it and forensic scientists concluded that Wilson had the majority profile.

Counsel said on February 9 that year, gardai entered Wilson's house with a section 29 warrant and arrested him. He was taken to a nearby garda station where a sample of his DNA was taken.

The court heard that this warrant was found to be unconstitutional, following a Supreme Court ruling last month.

Mr O'Higgins told Judge Martin Nolan this ruling "effectively rendered gardai trespassers" the day they arrested Wilson.

He argued this meant his client's subsequent detention was also unlawful and any DNA evidence taken from the accused was now inadmissible.

Mr O'Higgins told Judge Nolan the DNA evidence was the only evidence linking Wilson to the crime. Judge Nolan acceded to Mr O'Higgins' application and dismissed the case.

hnews@herald.ie

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