Paschal Carmody acquitted of deception charges
Former Co Clare GP Paschal Carmody was yesterday acquitted of obtaining money by deception from families of two terminally ill cancer patients.
It was the end of the third trial of Dr Carmody. In the first trial the jury could not agree on a verdict. The second trial collapsed over media reporting issues.
At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday Judge Raymond Fullam directed the jury find Dr Carmody not guilty on all nine charges of obtaining €16,554 from families of Co Wexford schoolboy Conor O’Sullivan (15) and Kilkenny man John Sheridan (57) in 2001-2002 at the East Clinic in Killaloe, Co Clare.
Judge Fullam made his ruling yesterday, on the eighth day of the trial, following an application in the absence of the jury by counsel for Dr Carmody, Tom Creed SC, to dismiss the charges at the end of the prosecution evidence. Instructing the jury to acquit the 65-year-old father of five on all counts, Judge Fullam said: “The evidence established that there was no intent to deceive or defraud on the part of Dr Carmody.” He added: “The evidence on some counts was so weak that it would be a mistake to allow the case to go to the jury.”
Excusing the jury from duty for five years, the judge said: “It has been a very difficult case involving a lot of sadness for a lot of people and has been distressing.”
In his formal ruling acquitting Dr Carmody, Judge Fullam said: “I am not satisfied that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt all the essential elements of the offences alleged of false pretences and deception.”
He added: “I am satisfied, based particularly on the evidence of Mr Colin Hopper, that there is no evidence about an intent to defraud or deceive on the part of Dr Carmody.”
Mr Hopper, a UK-based expert witness on behalf of the prosecution, told the trial that Dr Carmody struck him as “a caring physician who was interested in doing good for his patients”.
Mr Hopper also stated that Dr Carmody “believed overall he was doing patients good” and in the efficacy of the cancer treatments provided at his clinic in Killaloe. He went to Dr Carmody’s clinic in 2003 to examine, on behalf of the authorities, the photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatments offered to cancer patients there.
Mr Creed, along with Lorcan Connolly BL, made their application to have the case dismissed last week. The case resumed yesterday as Judge Fullam was ill all week.