herald

Sunday 18 August 2019

Murder plot accused says trial date is 'not feasible'

Dean Howe is accused of conspiring to murder Gary Hanley
Dean Howe is accused of conspiring to murder Gary Hanley

A man accused of conspiring to murder Dubliner Gary Hanley is unhappy at being sent forward for trial in October after claiming his solicitor was not present in court.

Dean Howe told the Special Criminal Court yesterday morning: "I've no legal representation here and you're trying to put me in for trial on October 7."

Following this, the accused man told the three-judge court: "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 (34), of Oakfield Place, Dublin 8, was charged with conspiring with others to murder Mr 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.

Mr Howe appeared at the non-jury court yesterday, where Mr Justice Paul Coffey, presiding, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Michael Walsh, set a date of October 7 for trial. It is expected to last up to six weeks.

State solicitor Ciara Vibien, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), informed the court that Mr Howe's co-accused, Liam Brannigan, is listed for trial on October 7 and said she had spoken to Mr Howe's solicitor about having this matter put in on the same date.

Liam Brannigan (37), from Bride Street, Dublin 8, is also charged with conspiring to murder Mr Hanley on the same occasion.

Mr Howe, who was standing in the dock, interjected at this point and said: "I've no legal representation here and you're trying to put me in for trial on October 7."

Addressing the accused man, Mr Justice Coffey said: "We are being told it's not necessary that a lawyer is aware of an intention to make that application."

The court was asked to let the matter stand in order for Mr Howe's solicitor to be contacted.

Ready

However, Mr Justice Coffey said he would put Mr Howe's case in for trial on October 7 but with liberty for him to apply to the court "to take it out of that date" if he and his lawyers were not ready to deal with the trial then.

Mr Howe was remanded in custody to appear before the non-jury court again on October 7.

Mr Howe 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 on the same occasion and have each received sentences.

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