Trial of Mansfield brothers “ready to roll” tomorrow
The trial of two sons of the late billionaire hotel boss Jim Mansfield who are facing ammunition charges has been delayed because of the unavailability of witnesses.
Jim Mansfield Jnr and Patrick James Mansfield, both accused of possession of ammunition at their homes, had their cases put back until tomorrow when they appeared in Dublin District Court.
Judge Ann Ryan granted the adjournment after the accused’s lawyer said witnesses were unable to attend, while search photographs and a garda interview video also needed to be examined before the case could begin.
The judge said the trial would be “ready to roll” tomorrow morning.
Jim Mansfield Jr (49) was charged with having 180 rounds of .22 Walther ammunition without a firearms licence at his home at Tassagart House in Saggart on January 29, 2015.
His brother PJ Mansfield (38) is accused of possession of 1,252 rounds of Walther ammunition without a firearms licence at his former home at Coldwater Lakes in Saggart.
They are both pleading not guilty to the charges.
The accused - who wore dark suits and did not address the court - are sons of Jim Mansfield Snr, who passed away in January 2014.
He was the businessman behind the Citywest Hotel, Weston Airport and a number of other high-profile ventures. Several of these other businesses collapsed in the recession.
Tony McGillicuddy BL, for the prosecution, said the cases were due to take two days but a number of matters had arisen which prevented them beginning today.
He said the “good news” was that certain witnesses and matters had been agreed between the prosecution and the defence.
However, there were prosecution witnesses who would be unavailable until this later today, when two defence witnesses would be absent.
Mr McGillicuddy said he also wanted to see all photographs taken by the gardai in the course of the searches of the two addresses.
In addition, he said he had not been able to deal with the video of Patrick Mansfield’s garda interview.
Garrett McCormack BL, for the prosecution, said his concern was that the trial would not finish in one day even if the number of witnesses was “whittled down.”
Mr McCormack said he could not guarantee both defendants’ cases would be finished in one day but he believed that one case would be.
Judge Ryan said if there was a “spill over” of the trial into a second day, “it would probably be Christmas” before she would be able to hear it.
She adjourned the trial to tomorrow.
Previously, defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury said her clients would say they both had a firearms licence and the licences were cancelled by gardaí without notifying them.