Patrick Gageby SC
A former solicitor who was due to be sentenced today for stealing €260,000 from client accounts has had her case adjourned after a Dublin Circuit Court judge said she could not pass sentence due to family connections.
A previous court hearing was told that 47-year-old Jacqueline Durcan from Co Mayo and now living in Brussels, was in debt for €6.5 million after a series of failed investments when the offence occurred between 2008 and 2011.
She had pleaded guilty and was due to be sentenced today.
However, Judge Melanie Greally said a “set of circumstances had arisen” and it appeared there were connections between her wider family and Durcan’s wider family and it would not be appropriate for her to deal with the case.
Judge Greally said the case would now have to be dealt with by another judge…
Defence barrister, Patrick Gageby SC, said his client and her husband were in the difficult position of owing €6.5 million to the banks at the time of the offence.
“This young couple over-reached themselves during the property bubble,” he said. “They made a series of ventures which brought catastrophic circumstances on themselves and their family.”
Justice Declan Costello conducted the judicial review and held that Mr (George) Gibney’s right to a fair trial would be infringed if the prosecution were to be proceeded with.
He granted an order precluding the DPP from proceeding with the charges.
An opportunity to appeal the decision was declined by Eamonn Barnes, then Director of Public Prosecutions.
George Gibney left Ireland – travelling first to Scotland, where he coached young swimmers, and then to America.
What went unreported at the time of the Supreme Court decision and what few outside the legal fraternity knew, least of all Mr Gibney’s alleged victims, was that Susan Denham, sister of Patrick Gageby, was on the bench that day.
Ms Denham was in ‘complete agreement’ with the majority judgement…