herald

Friday 6 December 2019

Mansfield gets legal aid in false imprisonment case

Accused Jim Mansfield Jnr
Accused Jim Mansfield Jnr

Businessman Jim Mansfield Jnr has been granted legal aid on charges relating to false imprisonment and perversion of justice after the Special Criminal Court heard he has a €6m judgment against him.

Mr Mansfield (52), of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, is charged with conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015.

He is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy recorded CCTV footage, with the intention of perverting the course of public justice in relation to the false imprisonment of Martin Byrne at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin, between June 9, 2015, and June 12, 2015.

Significant

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Costelloe, told the non-jury court that an application for legal aid had been made in October and he was not opposing it.

Defence counsel Tony McGillicuddy, for Mr Mansfield, said he had a statement of means to hand in to the three-judge court.

Mr McGillicuddy said his client is a working man, who is divorced from his wife and has "a significant judgment" against him from the High Court in the sum of €6m.

The accused man lives with his mother and provides money to his wife, he added.

"There being no objection from the State, my instructions are to advise for legal aid for Mr Mansfield," said Mr McGillicuddy.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey, presiding alongside Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain and Judge James Faughnan, said the court acceded to the application.

Mr McGillicuddy said he had a second application to make for legal aid for a senior and junior counsel.

"Given the complexities of the case, and in the interests of justice, it would be appropriate to have an assignment of senior counsel in this case," Mr McGillicuddy said.

Mr Justice Coffey said the court would also accede to this application and assign two defence counsel.

Mr Justice Coffey said there were difficulties in setting a trial date and adjourned the matter until next Monday.

Mr Mansfield was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court again next Monday, when it is expected that a trial date will be set.

On July 3, Mr Mansfield was admitted to bail on an independent surety of €10,000 and subject to a number of conditions.

A book of evidence was also served on the accused on this date.

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