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24/09/2021

Judge acquits Longford man of affray as prosecution reveals its inability to proceed with case

Longford Courthouse.

A Longford man accused of affray was cleared by a judge last week after the prosecution were not in a position to proceed with the case

A Longford man accused of affray more than two and a half years ago has been acquitted by a judge after the State was unable to proceed with the case.

Kevin Stokes (48) Lisnanagh, Co Longford pleaded not guilty to an incident at SuperValu Car Park, Longford on January 27, 2018.

Defence barrister Niall Flynn said he would be seeking the case to be struck out after learning the prosecution were not in a position to proceed.

Mr Flynn said the case had been before the District Court on January 15 and February 19 with a hearing date set for April 16.
He said on that occasion he refrained from lodging a submission for a dismissal and instead agreed to an adjournment to May 31.

On that date, Judge Bernadette Owens was told the case had been marked for “peremptory against the State”, meaning it would be earmarked to be struck out if the State was not fully ready to proceed.

Sgt Brian Boland, for the prosecution, said much of the delay had been due to whether the case could be heard while two accused individuals remained at large.

He insisted the State were also of a view the case was only “for mention” at last Friday's court sitting.

Mr Flynn, however, argued those submissions were not sufficient and judically unfair on his client who has been waiting since January 2018 for the case to be disposed of.

“He (Mr Stokes) is a man with limited capacity and it has been approximately two and a half years since this incident,” he said.

In taking into consideration both the arguments made by Mr Flynn and Sgt Boland, Judge Owens struck the matter out, prompting Mr Stokes to comment: “Thank you, your Honour”.

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