Man claims he wrongfully spent 10 days in jail after Pulse profile mix up

ireland
Man Claims He Wrongfully Spent 10 Days In Jail After Pulse Profile Mix Up Man Claims He Wrongfully Spent 10 Days In Jail After Pulse Profile Mix Up
Mr Connor seeks various orders, including an order for damages, and declarations from the court and that he is given an apology. Photo: File image
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A Co Louth man has claimed before the High Court that he wrongfully spent 10 days in jail after gardaí merged his Pulse profile with that of another unrelated person with a similar name.

Joseph Connor (34) from Scarlet Crescent, Drogheda, Co Louth has launched High Court proceedings arising out of his arrest on July 19th last for allegedly committing a public order offence.

Following his arrest, he was told by the gardaí that there was a live bench warrant in existence for him, and he was denied station bail. Mr Connor at all times disputed the existence of such a warrant against him.

He was detained by gardaí in Drogheda and brought before a sitting of District Court the following day.

Despite his protestations the District Court was wrongly told that Mr Connor had a substantial bench warrant history, which was provided to the court.

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The Judge hearing the case remanded Mr Connor in custody with consent to bail, with an independent surety of €250.

However, Mr Connor was not in a position to meet that condition, either on that date or when his case was next mentioned before the District Court, due to a lack of financial means and that there was no person willing to come forward to act as a surety.

As a result, he spent a total 10 days in Cloverhill Prison on remand. He was released on July 29th after he was able to put up the surety.

Responsibility

At the High Court Micheal O'Higgins SC for Mr Connor said that it subsequently transpired that the bench warrant did not relate to his client.

Counsel said the bench warrant was in respect of a person called 'Joseph O'Connor,' with a different date of birth, and address.

Counsel said when his client's case returned before the District court in September the Gardaí accepted responsibility for making the error.

What appeared to have happened was that gardaí had merged his client's Pulse profile with that of the other man, counsel said.

The information put before the court last July was attributable to a personal called 'Joseph O'Connor' and not his client, counsel said.

Counsel said his client's rights had been breached, and he had suffered damage because of the Commissioner's alleged negligence due to a patently erroneous merging of garda Pulse profiles.

Arising out of his incarceration, Mr Connor has brought judicial reviews proceedings against the Commissioner and the Governor of Cloverhill Prison.

Mr Connor seeks various orders, including an order for damages, and declarations from the court and that he is given an apology.

These include an order compelling the Garda Commissioner to investigate and provide him with full reasons as to why his constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention were breached.

He also seeks an order quashing orders by the District Court remanding him in custody.

He further seeks declarations that his constitutional and ECHR rights were breached when he was allegedly unlawfully arrested by the Garda, and allegedly unnecessarily detained at Drogheda Garda Station on July 19th 2021.

The matter came before Mr Justice Anthony Barr, who on an ex-parte basis, granted Mr Connor permission to bring his action.

The case will come back before the court in December.

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