Charges struck out against one of Jobstown trial defendants

Ken Purcell told he is free to go as trial continues for six others

Charges were struck out against Ken Purcell. File photograph: Collins.

Charges were struck out against Ken Purcell. File photograph: Collins.

 

Charges have been struck out against one of the seven defendants in the Jobstown trial.

The jury was told of the decision today as the trial, which began on April 26th, resumed after a one-week break.

Ken Purcell, a precision operative, of Kiltalown Green, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to charges. He was charged with the false imprisonment of the former Labour Party leader and tánaiste Joan Burton, and her then assistant, Karen O’Connell, by restricting their personal liberty without their consent on November 15th, 2014, at Fortunestown Road, Jobstown, Co Dublin.

A nolle prosequi has been entered in relation to the charges against him and Judge Melanie Greally told him he was free to go. The decision was met with clapping in the court. Judge Greally asked that any celebrations be continued outside the court.

The trial is continuing in relation to the other defendants in the case, who include Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght. All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The others before the court are: Kieran Mahon, Bolbrook Grove, Tallaght, and Michael Murphy, Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, both of whom are Solidarity councillors with South Dublin County Council; Scott Masterson, a self-employed courier, of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght; Frank Donaghy, a retired construction worker, of Alpine Rise, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, and Michael Banks, of Brookview Green, Tallaght, whom the court was told does not have an occupation that brings him into contact with the public.

The prosecution case has ended. The jury has been sent home as the judge hears legal argument.