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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10983
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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A family member has be convicted of sexually assaulting a young

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A family member has be convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl when she was 7 years old she is now 20 years old.
The thing is there where three charges against him but two were dropped and we are all confused of the fact the ones that were dropped were the ones he was with the girl on her own at the time but the third one, in which he had a withness for he got convicted on.
On the first day of the trial the jury that was picked came along after lunch and said they felt intimidated and they where excused and a new jury picked the following day and two people were told to leave the court and that they could not be in the court room for the rest of the trial. The judge told the family members legal team that on of the persons was cocky and had no nerve the person he was talking about was the whitness.
The family member is no on remand and awaiting to be sentenced. Is this case worth appealing. I would like some advice on this please. I reside in Ireland.
Thank you.

Buachaill :

1. From the basis facts you outline, this case definitely appears worth appealing as the evidence backing up the conviction appears weak. However, without knowing what went on in the jury room, it appears as if the jury just did not believe this ostensible independent witness and took the view that he was not credible and in fact what was going on was that some concealment of the offence was occurring. It is an open question whether on appeal, the judges hearing the appeal would take a similar view or whether they would believe this witness. However, it is certainly a strong point of appeal and should be vigorously pursued. Additionally, the point relating to the lapse of time and whether this prejudiced the defence should also be pursued as this would also appear to be a strong point, particularly if the family member can point to some prejudice in defending himself due to the lapse of time. Finally, the case should also be made on appeal that the comments of the judge in relation to the witness prejudiced the jury in their deliberations and should not have been made to the defendant's legal team. As a result, there are at least three good legal points on which to make an appeal. So an appeal should definitely be pursued.

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