Man jailed for abduction is freed by appeal court18/12/2001 - 19:47:04
A man jailed for abducting an American woman he met in a Dublin pub was freed on bail by the Court of Criminal Appeal today after the presentation of new evidence relating to the victim of the incident.
Barry Fitzgerald, 31, from Dalkey, Co Dublin, was sentenced to five years by the Circuit Criminal Court in October after being convicted of falsely imprisoning and assaulting tourist Elizabeth Gallucci.
He was said at the time of his trial to have given the woman a lift and taken ‘‘an insane route’’ through the Dublin mountains.
The Appeal Court accepted the evidence submitted today and said Fitzgerald’s defence team should have had the opportunity to examine the information relating to legal proceedings Ms Gallucci had been involved in the United States and about an allegation of theft made by her in America.
Permitting bail, court president Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said the possibility that the trial had proceeded without a reasonable opportunity given to the defence to investigate certain matters, was somewhat disturbing.
The court, he added, held the view that there was a strong chance that the conviction would be set aside on appeal. That did not mean that Mr Fitzgerald would be acquitted, but a new trial might be ordered.
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