Man fails to effect citizen’s arrest of High Court judge

Stephen Manning is challenging what he claims was his unlawful conviction

Stephen Manning pictured outside the Four Courts on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Courts

Stephen Manning pictured outside the Four Courts on Thursday. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

An attempt was made by a lay litigant to arrest a High Court judge, a solicitor and a barrister at the Four Courts on Thursday.

Stephen Manning, a candidate in the 2016 general election, asked Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, a solicitor for the DPP and a barrister to accompany him to a Garda station where he could effect a citizen’s arrest.

Mr Manning, with addresses in Co Mayo, was before the court regarding judicial review proceedings he had brought. Earlier this year, the court had granted Mr Manning permission to bring a challenge regarding what he claims was his unlawful conviction and subsequent incarceration in May 2017 at the Circuit Court Appeal of a finding by the District Court.

While permission to bring the challenge was granted on several of the grounds raised by Mr Manning, Mr Justice MacGrath dismissed Mr Manning’s application for the judge to recuse himself from hearing the substantive case.

When the case returned before the judge on Thursday, Mr Manning asked the court to call out the full title of the proceedings. When the title of the proceedings — Stephen Manning and a judge of the Circuit Court — was set out, Mr Manning raised an objection and disputed the title of his action.

Mr Justice MacGrath told Mr Manning the case was listed to address one issue, whether the decision not to grant permission on certain grounds was to be appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Following a brief exchange, Mr Manning said he wanted to make a citizen’s arrest on grounds including perverting the course of justice. The judge told Mr Manning the case was listed for one issue and the applicant wanted to “bring the case down a road to suit your own purposes”.

The judge then rose from the bench to allow the parties in an ongoing case before the court take their places and resume their submissions. The solicitor did not respond to Mr Manning’s request and the barrister in question was not present in court.

Members of An Garda Síochána, who were in court at the time, informed Mr Manning they would not be taking any of the parties into custody. Mr Manning said he would follow up on the matter and left the courtroom.