Jim Mansfield jnr granted legal aid by Special Criminal Court
Businessman facing charges relating to false imprisonment and perversion of justice
Jim Mansfield jnr: Granted legal aid by the Special Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts
Businessman Jim Mansfield jnr has been granted legal aid on charges relating to false imprisonment and perversion of justice after the Special Criminal Court heard that he has a €6 million judgement against him.
The non-jury court heard on Tuesday that the accused currently lives with his mother and provides money to his ex-wife.
Mr Mansfield (52), of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, is charged with conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1st, 2015 and June 30th, 2015, both dates inclusive. This is contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.
He is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy recorded CCTV footage, with the intention of perverting the course of public justice in relation to the false imprisonment of Martin Byrne at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin between June 9th, 2015 and June 12th, 2015.
Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and dark-coloured tie, Mr Mansfield sat at the back of the courtroom when his case was called, then stood briefly but did not go into the dock.
Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Costello SC, told the non-jury court that an application for legal aid had been made in October and he was not opposing it.
Defence counsel Tony McGillicuddy BL, for Mr Mansfield, said he had a statement of means to hand into the three-judge court.
Mr McGillicuddy said his client is a working man, who is divorced from his wife and has “a significant judgment” against him from the High Court in the sum of €6 million. The accused man lives with his mother and provides money to his wife, added the barrister.
“There being no objection from the State, my instructions are to advise for legal aid for Mr Mansfield,” indicated Mr McGillicuddy. Mr Justice Paul Coffey, presiding alongside Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Judge James Faughnan, said the court acceded to the application.
Mr McGillicuddy said he had a second application to make for legal aid for a senior and junior counsel. “Given the complexities of the case and in the interests of justice, it would be appropriate to have an assignment of senior counsel in this case,” the lawyer said.
Mr Justice Coffey said the court would also accede to this application and assign two defence counsel.
Following this, Mr McGillicuddy asked for a trial date to be set for his client. However, Mr Justice Coffey said there were difficulties in setting a trial date today and adjourned the matter until next Monday.
The accused man was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court again on December 9th, when it is expected that a trial date will be set.
On July 3rd, Mr Mansfield was admitted to bail on an independent surety of €10,000 and subject to a number of conditions, including the requirement to sign on once a week at Lucan Garda station between 9am and 9pm and not to leave the country. A book of evidence was also served on the accused on this date.