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Man jailed for 14-years for attempted aggravated burglary faces retrial following successful appeal

Man jailed for 14-years for attempted aggravated burglary faces retrial following successful appeal

A man jailed for 14 years for the attempted aggravated burglary of a Cork businessman's home faces a retrial following a successful appeal.

Niall Fitzpatrick (48) from Corrin Close, the Glen, Cork, had pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to attempted aggravated burglary and the possession of a pump action shotgun and ammunition at the home of Patrick Glavin, Glanmire on August 11 2013.

He was found guilty by a jury following a three week trial and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by Judge David Riordan on November 13 2014.

Fitzpatrick successfully appealed his conviction on two principle grounds involving the judge's failure to discharge the jury.

Counsel for Fitzpatrick, Brendan Nix SC, said it was the “second most unsatisfactory trial” he had ever been involved in.

Mr Nix said one juror sought to be excused from duty on grounds that the “jury were deliberating prior to the case being concluded” and the judge allowed the matter to be resolved through the Court Registrar going into the jury's room.

Mr Nix said he did not know what discussions took place between the registrar and the jury.

He said the registrar popped into the jury room, had his chat, came out and said 'it's all sorted'.

Mr Nix said “justice must be administered in public” and he wouldn't have even known the discussions had taken place if it wasn't for the better hearing of his junior counsel, Paula McCarthy BL.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said the way in which the matter was dealt with deprived both parties of having any input.

He said Fitzpatrick may have been left with an understandable sense of grievance.

Accordingly, Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on October 28 next.