Trial of doctor accused of sexual assault takes dramatic twist

The Dr James Barry's sex case took a sensational turn today when an order was made prohibiting the listing of the trial.

The Dr James Barry's sex case took a sensational turn today when an order was made prohibiting the listing of the trial.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “It is my view that I should grant an injunction prohibiting the listing of this matter.”

That decision is the one that Barry’s legal team have been fighting for at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The reason for the case being taken out of the criminal list is the fact that the European Court of Human Rights ruled back in December that Barry’s rights to a speedy trial had been violated. In other words, the case was delayed and this violated the accused man’s human rights.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “I find it hard to imagine how a trial could go to a jury. You would have to say to the jury, ‘You may decide the facts of the case. But the Court of Human Rights has found that a fundamental human rights breach has occurred’.”

The judge said that such a scenario would not be acceptable.

As of today, Barry is not facing a trial on 212 sexual assault charges dating back over ten years.

The charges relate to a period spanning from 1966 to 1995. He faces 212 charges arising out of complaints by 38 women who allege that he sexually assaulted them when he was their doctor.

Dr Barry, aged 80, conducted his practice at Sidney Place, Wellington Road, Cork, and now lives at Lauriston Lodge, Glanmire, County Cork. The only hope of overturning today’s injunction, which puts a block in front of any trial of Barry, would be for the State to appeal the European decision.

If successful, they could then go back to Cork Circuit Criminal Court and apply to have the case re-listed. As of now the prosecution cannot do that. And they only have until March 15 to lodge an appeal in Europe.

Otherwise Barry will not face trial on any single count on the 212-count indictment.

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