Drugs pair have appeal cases dismissed
on 30/07/2012 18:21:09
Aidan Finnegan (aged 31), with an address at Farranferris, Farranree, Co Cork, and Alan Morrison (aged 32), of Coultry Road, Ballymun, Dublin, had denied possession of 215 grams of heroin at a wooded area at Brooklodge Grove, Glanmire on September 5, 2008.
In 2009 they were each sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by Judge Patrick Moran, having been found guilty of the unlawful possession of drugs by a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The pair claimed that they had only gone into the wooded area to urinate, that they had not ventured sufficiently far up the woodland path to encounter the spot where the heroin was stashed and that gardaí had "stitched them up".
After their appeals against conviction and severity of sentence were rejected by the CCA last year they petitioned the appeal court under Section 29 of the Courts of Justice Act of 1924 to refer their case to Supreme Court.
It was claimed their case raised points of law of exceptional importance requiring determination in the public interest.
The point of laws related to cases where persons receive a different sentences to a co-accused for a similar type of offence, and the failure of the trial judge to adequately give reason for the disparity.
A third person arrested with the two received a five-year prison sentence, by a different judge, after pleading guilty to the offence.
Lawyers for Finnegan and Morrsion wanted the Supreme Court to determine if there was an onus on them to produce evidence during their appeal to the CCA to demonstrate the reasons and to justify the disparity between their sentence and the on imposed on the other man.
Today the CCA of Mr Justice Nial Fennelly presiding sitting with Mr Justice Michael Moriarty and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan dismissed the men's application.
Mr Justice Fennelly said the court must refuse a certificate because this legal point was not raised during their original appeals.