Belfast Telegraph

Solicitor charged with priest fights case

By Paul Higgins

A solicitor, charged alongside a priest with perverting justice, is to argue to have the case thrown out of court, a judge heard.

Committal proceedings were due to take place at Dungannon Magistrates Court, potentially sending the case against 54-year-old solicitor Patrick Mallon and Father Joseph John Quinn (48) to the Crown Court for trial, but that was adjourned again after Mallon's solicitor Aidan Quinn revealed he would be launching an abuse of process application.

The committal was initially due at the beginning of March.

Yesterday Mr Quinn told District Judge John Meehan the application would be "on two limbs" but did not expand on them, asking instead for two weeks to lodge skeleton arguments.

Dungannon-based solicitor Mallon, from Upper Parklands, and Fr Quinn, from Ardmore Park in Coalisland, each face two charges of perverting the course of justice in that they allegedly attempted to pressurise or persuade witnesses to withdraw statements made to police between February 1 and 15, 2012.

Mr Quinn has declared to previous courts that his client is "both shocked and angry to have received PE papers and fully expects to be exonerated" and has labelled the PPS review of the case as "flawed and defective".

Although the alleged facts relating to the offences have yet to be outlined, the solicitor identified one issue to be whether three complainants whom Mallon previously acted for, will waive their right to solicitor-client confidentiality.

After defence barrister Des Fahy asked for an extended period "to give it my full attention," Judge Meehan granted four weeks to allow for skeleton arguments to be lodged for the abuse of process application and said he would hear submissions at the end of next month.

A solicitor for Fr Quinn told the court the issues relating to Mallon's case "do not pertain" to the priest.

Belfast Telegraph


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