Man alleges ‘bad faith’ by judge over conviction

Co Cavan plaintiff claims judge colluded with gardaí


A Co Cavan man is seeking to overturn his conviction for harassing a Garda sergeant and his wife after alleging the conviction was “malicious” and an act of bad faith by District Court Judge Seán MacBride.

Joseph Lavery told the High Court he believed Judge MacBride imposed the May 2006 conviction after “colluding” with two named gardaí.

Mr Lavery alleges those gardaí were previously involved in harassing him and his family after he reported to the force in 1999 his concerns about Garda Austin Woods, who was later jailed in connection with making 3,000 nuisance calls to his ex-girlfriend.

When Mr Lavery also read part of his affidavit alleging Judge MacBride “attempted to pervert the course of justice in his abuse of Garda John Wilson”, he was told by the president of the High Court the court could not be used as “a soapbox”.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was dealing yesterday with an application by the DPP to be joined as respondent to judicial review proceedings brought by Mr Lavery, Beech Hill, Cootehill, Co Cavan, against District Judge Seán MacBride and Circuit Court Judge John O’Hagan arising from Mr Lavery’s conviction by Judge MacBride in May 2006 on harassment charges. The conviction was upheld on appeal in July 2009 but a six-month prison sentence, which was stayed pending the appeal, was suspended on conditions.

Yesterday, Lily Buckley, for the DPP, said the director was the appropriate respondent in the proceedings rather than the two judges. Counsel noted Mr Lavery had referred in this case to an affidavit by Judge MacBride but that affidavit related to other proceedings.

Application opposed
Mr Lavery opposed the application and read sections of his affidavit alleging “the malicious convictions” he received on May 16th, 2006, was “an act of mal fides by Judge MacBride” after, Mr Lavery believed, the judge colluded with named gardaí.

Referring to an affidavit sworn by Judge MacBride himself for separate court proceedings in 2001, Mr Lavery said a solicitor for the DPP was seeking to remove that “self-damning” affidavit from this case.