Belfast Telegraph

Man challenges decision to drop charge against 'attacker'

BY ALAN ERWIN

An alleged assault victim has cleared the first stage in his High Court challenge to the withdrawal of a charge against the man he claims attacked him.

Christopher Mooney was granted leave to seek a judicial review after the Public Prosecution Service accepted it failed to fully explain the reasons for the move.

Even though counsel for the PPS said the case was conceded, a judge ruled that a further hearing was still necessary.

Mr Mooney claims he was subjected to a "vicious and sustained assault" at a house in Belfast five years ago.

He took legal action against the PPS after it was decided to end criminal proceedings against a man who had faced a court summons over the incident.

His barrister, Sean Devine, yesterday contended: "The respondent accepts that the manner in which the decision was arrived at was unlawful."

Peter Coll, for the PPS, confirmed it had not been made properly and should be retaken.

Mr Justice Stephens said: "In such circumstances where the PPS accept that there has been a failure to comply with their own standards, there may arise a question in relation to the appropriate remedy."

But despite being informed that the challenge was not being contested, he held it was in the public interest to continue to the next stage early in the new year.

Belfast Telegraph

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