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Man has conviction quashed after 11 months in jail

A Dublin man who spent 11 months in jail for his role in a violent attack in a bookmakers has had his conviction quashed after another man allegedly “came forward”.

Declan Tynan, 28 and of Vincent Street Flats, Dublin 8, had maintained his innocence in relation to alleged violent disorder at Ladbrokes bookmakers in Killinarden, Tallaght on 13 December 2012.

The prosecution’s case was that Tynan was one of three men who burst into the bookmakers on the day in question and set upon a customer standing in the middle of the shop.

One of the attackers had a short blade and began stabbing the man repeatedly.

When the victim’s brother tried to intervene, the group of men turned on him.

Neither this person nor his brother were willing to co-operate with the investigation and there was never any medical reports obtained, nor a victim impact report produced.

One worker told gardaí that she continued to serve customers while the incident unfolded.

Two of the attackers had pleaded guilty by the time Tynan faced trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. 

In what was described by Tynan’s barrister, Eoghan Cole BL, as a “one witness case” in which the only evidence against his client was the purported visual identification of him by a garda from the bookie’s CCTV, a jury found Tynan guilty and he was sentenced to four years imprisonment with the final year suspended by Judge Patricia Ryan on 13 January 2017.

Tynan then sought to appeal his conviction focusing on the “perils of visual identification”. However, the three-judge court dismissed his appeal and affirmed his conviction.

A number of months later, Tynan’s senior counsel, Michael O’Higgins, told the Court of Appeal that someone else had “come forward” in relation to the attack.

This person, Luke Hickey, had provided a statement claiming he was the third person involved in the attack, Mr O’Higgins said.

Tynan was granted bail pending an investigation. The court heard that the matter was referred to experts in the UK who looked at the question of visual identification.

The case returned to the Court of Appeal where Tynan’s conviction was quashed under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993.

The Director of Public Prosecutions did not oppose the application, brought by Tynan’s lawyers. However, Michael Delaney SC, for the DPP, said the Director was not making any concessions on a factual basis.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Hedigan, ordered that Tynan’s conviction be quashed with liberty to apply later for a declaration that the conviction was a miscarriage of justice.

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