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Judge dismisses case of alleged assault on woman naval officer

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  • Judge dismisses case of alleged assault on woman naval officer

    A FISHERMAN charged with attacking a woman naval officer had his case dismissed yesterday following a dispute over the location of his trawler.

    Brian Creighton of Drogheda Street, Balbriggan, Co Dublin was facing the assault charge against sub-lieutenant navigation officer Caroline Mooney.

    She had boarded his boat, the Mary Christina, from LE Roisin on a routine inspection off the coast at Skerries, Co Dublin, when the assault was alleged to have happened.

    Yesterday at Balbriggan District Court, Judge Michael Connellan dismissed the case, saying the prosecution had failed to produced admiralty charts to establish whether the alleged offence took place in territorial waters.

    "The difference with this case is that it is not on dry land, it is in fisheries waters," said Judge Connelan. "In order to deal with it properly we must prove the territorial integrity of the charge, and that is the problem here."

    Witness lieutenant Ultan Finnegan had given the position of his ship at the time of boarding using satellite information from Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

    Lt Finnegan estimated this to be 9.8 nautical miles from Rockabill Island.

    Lt Finnegan also gave map co-ordinates of the position, and of the boat's position just over two hours later, when the naval team left the Mary Christina and returned to LE Roisin.

    However, maritime law required the position to be read from the low tide mark on land, and the judge ruled that the lieutenant was unable to do this without the charts being present in court.

    Helen Bruce

  • #2
    ****ing outrageous....judge should be Keel hauled!
    Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


    • #3
      Usually when a judge dismisses or questions a case on grounds of jurisdiction,it means that he does not want to deal with it.(i.e, he doesn't know what to do...)

      There should be specially qualified judges for nautical matters. The NS have got more or less the same powers as gardai at sea,sadly many judges are not familiar with the workings of naval law.

      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


      • #4
        Or maybe our Naval Officers should be better briefed in legal matters in particularly Maritime Law.

        Can you imagine if a Garda was trying to proove a speeding case with device other than the issued speed camera.