Dublin man fails in bid to take abuse case to Supreme Court

A Dublin man convicted of sexually abusing his partner’s daughter over an eight-year period has failed in a bid to take his case to the Supreme Court.

Lawyers for convicted armed robber Christopher Griffin (aged 39) had argued before the Court of Criminal Appeal that his case raised two points of “exceptional public importance” which required determination by the Supreme Court.

The CCA of Mrs Justice Fidelma Macken presiding, sitting with Mr Justice Eamon deValera and Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, ruled that neither issue could be considered suitable grounds on which to issue a certificate of referral to the Supreme Court.

Griffin was jailed for life by the Central Criminal Court in April 2007, having been found guilty of one count of the oral rape of his partner’s daughter in 1998, one count of rape in 2001 and nine counts of indecently assaulting her on dates between 1993 and 1998.

The victim was aged between eight and 16 when the abuse took place.

Counsel for Griffin, Michael O'Higgins SC, had argued that an assertion by trial judge Mr Justice Paul Carney that the trial would proceed to a conclusion no matter what application was made amounted to a blanket ruling by the judge.

At an appeal hearing in June 2009, Mr O’Higgins had also argued that the original trial judge should have discharged the jury given the absence of a key prosecution witness- the mother of the complainant - who was deemed “physically and mentally unfit” to give evidence.

Mr O’Higgins contended that the rejection of this as legitimate grounds for appeal by the CCA had essentially placed the onus on the accused to establish that the evidence of a missing witness was centrally supportive of his innocence.

In a written judgement, the court found that further applications made on behalf of Griffin to have the trial halted after the issuance of the so-called “blanket ban” contradicted the contention that the trial judge had prohibited or actively discouraged the making of further applications.

The CCA also found that it did not suggest or determine there was any obligation on Griffin to establish the centrally supportive nature of the missing evidence and to suggest otherwise was a “misreading” of its judgement on appeal.

In a further hearing at the CCA, Griffin, who has 18 previous convictions, succeeded in having an “unusual” application to have his own appeal against the severity of his sentenced adjourned.

Mr O’Higgin’s told the court that Griffin was taking proceedings in the High Court on an issue on a warrant made against him and the timeframe in respect of his appeal hearing.

The court acceded to an application by Mr O’Higgins to have the hearing adjourned to a later date, given the potentially prejudicial effect of a CCA ruling on the High Court proceedings.

More in this Section

Legal Aid Board calls for 'rethink' as it sees increase in waiting listsLegal Aid Board calls for 'rethink' as it sees increase in waiting lists

Leo Varadkar reiterates willingness to work with FF 'if the numbers fall a certain way'Leo Varadkar reiterates willingness to work with FF 'if the numbers fall a certain way'

Oberstown Children’s Detention Campus facing legal claims worth up to €4.79mOberstown Children’s Detention Campus facing legal claims worth up to €4.79m

Sinn Féin launches policy proposals on mental healthSinn Féin launches policy proposals on mental health


Cork teenager Jessie Griffin is launching a new comic-book series about her own life. She tells Donal O’Keeffe about her work as a comic artist, living with Asperger’s, and her life-changing time with the Cork Life CentrePicture perfect way of sharing Jessie’s story

Sorting out Cork people for agesAsk Audrey: The only way to improve air quality in Douglas is to move it upwind from Passage West

The Lighthouse is being hailed as one of the best — and strangest — films of the year. Its director tells Esther McCarthy about casting Robert Pattinson, and why he used 100-year-old lensesGoing against the grain: Robert Eggers talks about making his latest film The Lighthouse

It turns out 40 is no longer the new 30 – a new study says 47 is the age of peak unhappiness. The mid-life crisis is all too real, writes Antoinette Tyrrell.A midlife revolution: A new study says 47 is the age of peak unhappiness

More From The Irish Examiner