HIGH COURT PROHIBITS RETRIAL IN ENNISCORTHY MURDER CASE
State pathologist Marie Cassidy’s intervention over evidence given in a County Wexford murder trial by her former deputy Khalid Jaber has resulted in a High Court ruling prohibiting a retrial.
The trial of 37 year-old Michael Furlong from the Moyne, Enniscorthy, charged with murdering Patrick Connors – who was also 37 – at the Carraig Tur apartment complex in Enniscorthy, in April 2011, collapsed in November 2013 following a dispute about Dr Jaber’s evidence.
Dr Jaber resigned as deputy State pathologist in 2013 following a row with Prof Cassidy in which he wrote letters to State and professional bodies criticising her and suggesting she was not sufficiently qualified to act as state pathologist.
President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said it must have been a shock to the DPP to learn Dr Jaber had not complied with normal practice and instruction that his report for the Furlong case should have been peer reviewed by others in the State pathologist’s office.
The absence of that peer review came to light as a result of Prof Cassidy co-incidentally being in the Central Criminal Court for another trial in November 2013 on the same day Dr Jaber was giving evidence in the Furlong case.
She subsequently wrote to the DPP’s office expressing concerns about Dr Jaber’s evidence resulting in the jury in the Furlong case being discharged and the case listed for retrial.
Mr Furlong’s lawyers then brought High Court judicial review proceedings to prohibit a retrial.
Mr Justice Kearns yesterday granted the prohibition order saying the court “cannot imagine how the difficulties surrounding the pathology evidence might be addressed, let alone resolved” in a retrial.