Dublin Bookmaker Stabbing Led to Miscarriage of Justice
Posted on: July 30, 2023, 04:28h.
Last updated on: July 30, 2023, 04:28h.
A Dublin, Ireland man convicted in 2017 of taking part in a stabbing inside a betting shop in the Tallaght area of the city was the victim of mistaken identity, The Sunday World reports.
Declan Tynan, 33, was sentenced to four years in prison after being identified as a suspect by police from security video at the Ladbrokes outlet. Tynan had always maintained his innocence, and he was 11 months into his sentence when a man claiming to be the real perpetrator reportedly “came forward.”
The conviction was quashed in as unsafe in April 2018. But on Friday, Dublin’s Court of Appeal granted Tynan a certificate of miscarriage of justice, which officially declares him to be innocent and could enable him to pursue damages against the Irish state.
In the original case, prosecutors claimed Tynan was one of three men who entered the betting venue on December 13, 2012, and attacked a customer with whom they were involved in a longstanding feud.
One of the trio was armed with a knife and began stabbing the man repeatedly. When the victim’s brother tried to intervene, the men turned on him.
The two victims refused to cooperate with police, and no medical records were obtained during the investigation.
Police correctly identified one of the perpetrators, Sean Kenny, from the video footage, and he and an accomplice pleaded guilty. But Tynan was misidentified, and this was the only evidence linking him to the crime.
At his trial, Tynan’s lawyer, Eoghan Cole BL, scathingly described it as a “one-witness case.”
On Friday, the Appeals Court noted that at the first trial there had been “a want of material regarding disclosure that could have been of use to the defense in testing the reliability of the identification.”
The panel of judges also wrote that expert analysis by the UK’s Met Police, which compared images of Tynan, the man claiming to be the perpetrator, and the Ladbrokes stills, established Tynan’s innocence.
No criticism is to be made of the gardaí [police] in the manner of the investigation but we do believe a certificate should be granted. The proof is that he [Mr Tynan] was actually innocent,” said Mr Justice McCarthy.
The judge added that the opinion of the police officer who made the visual misidentification has been held “honestly held and in good faith.”
The miscarriage of justice was “not in controversy,” he added.
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