Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Killer fights for private prison visits

A convicted killer has launched a High Court bid to secure assurances that his prison visits are not being subjected to covert surveillance.

Louis Maguire, who is serving a 24-year sentence for shooting his wife's former lover, wants a guarantee that conversations with her are not being secretly monitored.

The 44-year-old is being held at Maghaberry Prison while awaiting his appeal against being found guilty of murdering David Barnes in March 2003.

Mr Barnes (39) was shot in the head as he lay in bed beside his girlfriend at his flat on the Antrim Road in north Belfast.

Maguire, formerly of Whinpark Road, Newtownards, was on home leave while serving a prison sentence for robbery at the time of the killing.

Opening an application for leave to seek a judicial review yesterday, his barrister told the court evidence gathered from previous covert surveillance was then used at trial against Maguire.

Barry Macdonald QC said: “There is interference with the right to privacy and family life because visits from family members may be monitored.”

The case now hinges on a decision on whether it should proceed at the High Court or be determined by a tribunal set up under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to examine issues involving the intelligence services.

The judge, Mr Justice Treacy, reserved his initial ruling on the jurisdictional issue of whether the case should be heard in court or at a tribunal.

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