Supreme Court agrees to hear further appeal over Rossiter murder conviction

Maurice Power’s lawyers said case raises points of law of general public importance

 Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a further appeal by a man convicted for shooting dead another man at a social gathering in Co Tipperary.

In a recently published determination, the Supreme Court ruled that points of general public importance had been raised by Maurice Power, who seeks to overturn his 2014 conviction for the murder of Shane Rossiter on October 17th, 2012.

Power (35), of Dranganbeg, Kilmoyler, Cahir, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Rossiter following a house party, where illegal drugs were being taken, in Church Lane, Golden, Co Tipperary.

The Central Criminal Court heard that Power had grown up with Rossiter but that there was “bad blood” between them.

Rossiter died from gunshot wounds.

In 2014 Power was found guilty by a majority jury verdict of 10-1 and he was accordingly given the mandatory life sentence by Justice Deirdre Murphy.

During his trial, the prosecution relied on confession statements made by Power while he was in Garda custody at Clonmel Garda Station between December 11th and 15th, 2012. His conviction was upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Power’s lawyers sought to have his appeal heard by the Supreme Court on grounds it raises points of law of general public importance.

The points relate to the extension of Power’s detention by a district court judge after he was arrested on suspicion of Mr Rossiter’s murder. That was the third extension, whereas the others were made by senior gardaí.

The second point raised related to the issue of the corroboration and confessions, and the correct interpretation of Section 10 (1)the 1993 Criminal Procedure Act. That legislation provides that where evidence is given of a confession “and that evidence is not corroborated, the judge shall advise the jury to have due regard to the absence of corroboration.

The Supreme Court comprised of Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, Mr Justice Liam McKechnie and Mr Justice Peter Charleton after considering the application granted Power permission to have his appeal considered by the court. The matter will be heard by the court at a later date.