herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

Court agrees new date for murder plot accused's trial

Dean Howe appeared in court
Dean Howe appeared in court

A murder plot accused has been granted a new trial date after he complained about having the original date set for two months after he was returned to the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

Dean Howe (34) told the Special Criminal Court in August that he was unhappy at being sent forward for trial on October 7, saying: "I'm now being told to prepare for trial in two months which I could get 10 years for. Don't know how that is feasible."

Last May at Dublin District Court, Mr Howe, of Oakfield Place, Dublin 8, was charged with conspiring with others to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15 and November 6, 2017.

This offence is contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

He was brought before the Special Criminal Court in July after the DPP certified that the ordinary courts were inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice.

Defence counsel Paul Carroll SC told the three-judge panel yesterday that his client had previously been given a trial date of October 7, with liberty to apply to the court.

However, it would not be possible to be ready on that date as it is a "substantial case", said Mr Carroll.

The barrister said he was making an application to the non-jury court not to proceed with Mr Howe's case on October 7 and was seeking a different trial date.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Ann Ryan and Judge Michael Walsh, acceded to the application and adjourned Mr Howe's trial to January 13, 2020. It is expected to last up to six weeks.

Liam Brannigan (37), from Bride Street, Dublin 8, is also charged with conspiring to murder Mr Hanley on the same occasion and his trial will take place on October 7.

Conspiring

Mr Howe was remanded in custody to appear before the non-jury court again on January 13, 2020.

He is the fifth person to be charged in connection with the alleged plot to kill Mr Hanley.

Three men have previously pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley at a location within the State on the same occasion and have each received sentences.

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