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Judge hopes killer Duffy can serve out murder term here

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Jailed republican paramilitary killer Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy

Jailed republican paramilitary killer Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy

Jailed republican paramilitary killer Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy

A High Court judge has said he hopes Declan 'Whacker' Duffy will be allowed to return to Ireland to serve out a life sentence for the murder of a British army sergeant in England in 1992.

While ordering the republican paramilitary's extradition to the UK, Mr Justice Paul Burns said he sympathised with Duffy's position after reading an affidavit relating to the health of one of his family members.

Duffy had sought to be all-owed to remain in Ireland on humanitarian grounds, despite a High Court decision to extradite him to the UK to finish serving his life sentence.

Parole

However, Mr Justice Burns said he could not make decisions based on sympathy, and the threshold for postponing extradition on humanitarian grounds is a high one.

"It is up to the Irish and UK authorities to decide if he is suitable for transfer. I hope that is the case, but it's not for this court to determine," he said.

Duffy (45), with a last address at Hanover Street West, Dublin, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of sergeant Michael Newman in Derby in 1992, but was released on licence by a Northern Ireland parole board in March 2013.

He was arrested by gardai on December 5, 2015 and later jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years for falsely imprisoning Martin Byrne in Rathcoole/Saggart, Co Dublin, on June 9, 2015.

Following that conviction, on June 6, 2016, the Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland revoked Duffy's licence and recalled him to prison. A European Arrest Warrant was issued for his arrest.

Duffy's extradition has been on hold while he served his sentence for false imprisonment, but on Monday Mr Justice Burns lifted that postponement order, allowing him to be surr- endered to the UK authorities within the next 25 days.

Mark Lynam BL, for Duffy, told Mr Justice Burns that aff- idavits and medical evidence had been submitted, and he was asking for a four-week postponement of the extradition to allow the authorities here and in Northern Ireland to consider whether Duffy could serve out his sentence in the Republic.

Ronan Kennedy BL, for the Minister for Justice, said the application for postponement on humanitarian grounds did not meet the threshold.

Mr Justice Burns told Duffy he is entitled to make a habeus corpus application before his surrender to the UK.