A man accused of threatening to stab RTE journalist Fergal Keane outside his home has had all charges against him dropped by the State.
Miley Connors (aged 40) of Glenshane Lawns, Tallaght had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary, threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Mr Fergal Keane and production of rocks at Monkstown Avenue, Monkstown on November 25, 2007.
Mr Keane and his wife, Ms Tara Buckley gave evidence yesterday that they noticed three men in their garden as they were about to pull into their driveway that night. Mr Keane stopped the car and got out to confront the intruders.
The couple later discovered that their home had been “completely and utterly ransacked” and a number of valuable items taken.
Mr Keane said he chased a youth from his front garden and was holding on to him outside his home when a fourth man approached him and threatened to stab him if he did not let the other man go.
He told the jury that this man had a rock in one hand and his other hand in his pocket.
He said he had “no doubt” looking at this man’s demeanour that he would stab him.
“I was in fear of my life. That is the only reason I did not confront him,” Mr Keane said.
Mr Keane was punched by the youth and the other man threw at rock him before fleeing the scene. He said rocks were then thrown at his car, where his wife and three children were still sitting.
Both Mr Keane and Ms Buckley, described their children as “screaming in terror” and having “tears streaming down” their face as the rocks were “coming out of the darkness”.
Judge Patrick McCartan ruled today that evidence of “a purported identification” of Mr Connors by Mr Keane at an event in Dun Laoghaire a year after the alleged offence was inadmissible.
Mr Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, then told Judge McCartan that “a matter had arisen” and he had been giving instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions “not to proceed any further” with the case.
He applied for a nolle prosequi to be entered in relation to all charges.
Mr Heneghan told Judge McCartan that he could not give any reason for his instructions.
Mr Garnet Orange BL, defending, asked that Mr Connors be acquitted by direction of the judge so that the case against his client “could be brought to a conclusion”.
Judge McCartan allowed the nolle prosequi and said that “it was open to the DPP at any stage in the proceedings to indicate that he did not want to go any further with the charges”.
He told the jury of six men and six women that he had ruled that evidence of an informal identification of Mr Connors as the man who threatened Mr Keane was inadmissible, because he was “not happy” that the proper procedures were complied with.
Judge McCartan said Mr Heneghan had then taken instructions from the Director who had decided to “bring a halt” to the trial.