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Our favourite judge set bail terms unlawfully

category clare | crime and justice | other press author Tuesday February 01, 2005 11:46author by Rosebud Report this post to the editors

Mangan's madness exposed but won't be acted upon

'The Oireachtas had not empowered a District Court judge to manage the health status, social activities and/or lifestyle of a resident of their district. The threat of an indeterminate remand in custody could have no basis in law and the conditions of bail were not in any way rationally connected to ensuring the integrity of a criminal trial.'

Bail terms set by judge for woman 'unlawful'
Mary Carolan

A District Court judge unlawfully brought about a situation where a young woman with no previous convictions who pleaded guilty to a public order offence had to agree to bail conditions which included four weeks urinary testing for drink and drugs and staying out of Ennis daily from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for three months, the High Court was told yesterday.

The alternative presented to Ms Michelle Gardiner by Judge Joseph Mangan on December 10th last was was an unspecified time in prison, her solicitor, Mr Stephen Nicholas, said. She had no previous convictions and the prospect of prison was naturally terrifying.

Mr Nicholas said Judge Mangan had acted in excess of or without jurisdiction in the manner in which he dealt with the case and had determined the matter in breach of fair procedures, natural and constitutional justice.
Yesterday, Mr Feichin McDonagh SC, for Ms Gardiner, applied for leave to overturn Judge Mangan's orders in judicial review proceedings and for an order preventing Judge Mangan from further hearing the charges against Ms Gardiner. Mr Justice McKechnie said he would grant leave on the grounds outlined.

The case arose after Ms Gardiner (26), a bar worker, with an address at Golf Links Road, Ennis, appeared before Judge Mangan on two public order offences arising from an incident outside the Queen's Hotel, Ennis, on October 4th, 2004. The judge heard Garda evidence that Ms Gardiner had attempted to make a complaint that night in relation to being jostled by another person. The judge was told she was drunk and had become abusive when asked by garda to leave the area and instead made a formal complaint the next day.

Mr Nicholas said Ms Gardiner had instructed him she wished to plead guilty. She had very nervously given evidence of having finished work, drinking four pints and then attending a disco at the Queen's Hotel where she did not drink.

Judge Mangan had said he would remand her to March 11th 2005 on her own bail of 100 subject to a number of conditions, including that she get a professional report from a counsellor on possible drink and drug abuse; that she be screened for urine samples twice weekly for four consecutive weeks and that she stay out of Ennis as defined by the court between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. daily.

Mr Nicholas said he had asked what the alternatives were and the judge indicated he would impose a custodial sentence. Ms Gardiner said she would accept the prison sentence which she was aware could be appealed.

He said Judge Mangan then indicated he had changed his mind and Ms Gardiner would have to accept the remand on bail with the conditions or he would not sentence her but would remand her in custody.

Mr Nicholas asked for how long but, he said, the judge did not reply.

The Irish Times

Related Link: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2005/0201/1091664998HM4URINETEST.html
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