Businessman Jim Mansfield Junior granted legal aid on false imprisonment charge

Businessman Jim Mansfield Junior granted legal aid on false imprisonment charge
Jim Mansfield Junior leaving court today. Pic: Collins

Businessman Jim Mansfield Junior has been granted legal aid on charges relating to false imprisonment and perversion of justice after the Special Criminal Court heard that he has a €6m judgement against him.

The non-jury court heard today that the accused currently lives with his mother and provides money to his ex-wife.

Mr Mansfield (aged 52), of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co. Dublin, is charged with conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015, both dates inclusive. This is contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

He is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy recorded CCTV footage, with the intention of perverting the course of public justice in relation to the false imprisonment of Martin Byrne at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin between June 9, 2015, and June 12, 2015.

Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and dark-coloured tie, Mr Mansfield sat at the back of the courtroom when his case was called, then stood briefly but did not go into the dock.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Costello SC, told the non-jury court that an application for legal aid had been made in October and he was not opposing it.

Defence counsel Tony McGillicuddy BL, for Mr Mansfield, said he had a statement of means to hand into the three-judge court.

Mr McGillicuddy said his client is a working man, who is divorced from his wife and has "a significant judgment" against him from the High Court in the sum of €6m. The accused man lives with his mother and provides money to his wife, added the barrister.

"There being no objection from the State, my instructions are to advise for legal aid for Mr Mansfield," indicated Mr McGillicuddy. Mr Justice Paul Coffey, presiding alongside Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Judge James Faughnan, said the court acceded to the application.

Mr McGillicuddy said he had a second application to make for legal aid for a senior and junior counsel. "Given the complexities of the case and in the interests of justice, it would be appropriate to have an assignment of senior counsel in this case," pointed out the lawyer.

Mr Justice Coffey said the court would also accede to this application and assign two defence counsel.

Following this, Mr McGillicuddy asked for a trial date to be set for his client. However, Mr Justice Coffey said there were difficulties in setting a trial date today and adjourned the matter until next Monday.

The accused man was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the court again on December 9, when it is expected that a trial date will be set.

On July 3, Mr Mansfield was admitted to bail on an independent surety of €10,000 and subject to a number of conditions, including the requirement to sign on once a week at Lucan Garda Station between 9am and 9pm and not to leave the country.

A book of evidence was also served on the accused on this date.

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