Conviction overturned for man jailed for a decade

A Dublin man, jailed for a decade for a stabbing which left parts of the victim’s bowel and intestines protruding from his body, had his conviction overturned today.

The Court of Criminal Appeal ruled the publication of newspaper articles during Darren Duff’s trial in July 2008 was such that it created a “real risk” of unfairness to him if members of the jury made a link between them and Mr Duff’s trial.

Mr Duff of (aged 38) of Doon Court, Poppintree Ballymun has his conviction quashed, and a retrial was ordered.

The articles complained of by lawyers for Mr Duff, appeared as the “principle story” on the front page of the Sunday Tribune Newspaper “the day before the fifth day” of their client's trial in July 2008. A “virtually identical” article was published “on the inside” of another Irish newspaper a day later.

The court heard that although the Sunday Tribune article did not refer specifically to “names or places”, it did contain “facts which fitted” the case being tried.

Delivering judgement today, the CCA, Mr Justice Nial Fennelly presiding, held it was a “rare” incidence where an “appropriate direction” to the jury could not “counteract the ill effects” of publication of certain material during the course of a trial, but that in the "unique" and "extraordinary" circumstances of Mr Duff’s case this would not have been “possible”.

During Mr Duff's trial, an attempt was made to have the jury discharged and while the trial judge at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accepted the material was “open to interpretation” he refused the application.

Mr Duff was sentenced to ten years in October 2008 following his conviction by a jury for causing serious harm to a man by stabbing him on July 28, 2001, at Hillcrest Way Estate in Lucan, Dublin.

Mr Duff was in the appeal court for today’s hearing, dressed in a dark grey pinstripe suit and light yellow shirt.

The CCA said in “no stronger a term” that the publication by a major Irish newspaper of material directly related to the subject matter of a trial in advance of it or during it was “unfortunate”.

Mr Duff was remanded in custody.

More in this Section

Cold weather warning issued for majority of the countryCold weather warning issued for majority of the country

Woman, 40s, dies following crash in Co DownWoman, 40s, dies following crash in Co Down

Two arrested in relation to eight burglaries in Limerick and TipperaryTwo arrested in relation to eight burglaries in Limerick and Tipperary

Search operation underway in Cork after reports of car entering riverSearch operation underway in Cork after reports of car entering river


Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

Charlize Theron is unrecognisable as Fox News star Megyn Kelly in ‘Bombshell’, a film that looks at the sexual harassment scandal at the network. She talks to Laura Harding about Me Too and the complexity of the film.Charlize Theron on Bombshell: ‘For the first time we are realising women can be part of the problem'

More From The Irish Examiner