Belfast Telegraph

Supreme Court bid by jailed policeman adjourned

By Alan Erwin

A policeman's bid to appeal to the Supreme Court over being jailed for trying to arrest one of Northern Ireland's most senior judges has been adjourned.

Thomas Anthony Carlin will now remain in custody until at least next week, when his application will resume at the High Court in Belfast.

Following a hearing last night, lawyers representing the 43-year-old PSNI officer are now set to make further arguments on mitigation over his approach to Lord Justice Gillen.

Judges who sentenced the policeman to three months' imprisonment will then decide if the lawyers' arguments affect their views on whether to grant leave to go to the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday Mr Carlin was found guilty of contempt of court in proceedings brought against him by the Attorney General.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan held that he had acted with both premeditation and determination.

Sir Declan described him as a man driven by self-importance and attention-seeking who "revelled in being the spotlight".

Following the verdict Mr Carlin was led in handcuffs from the Royal Courts of Justice to begin his prison term.

He was also told that if he sought to apologise after 28 days, the rest of his sentence would be set aside.

The case took a new twist on Thursday after it emerged that the policeman intended to challenge the conviction.

Belfast-based law firm Madden and Finucane was then instructed to represent his interests.

Sir Declan, sitting with Mr Justice Horner, is expected to decide whether to grant leave to go before the Supreme Court based on the prospects of any appeal succeeding.

If they hold that Mr Carlin has an arguable case with a reasonable chance of ultimately winning, the policeman is almost certain to be granted bail.

Mr Carlin's actions and outburst came at the end of a ruling in an ongoing house repossession case last month.

At the end of that High Court hearing, he got up and moved towards the bench, holding aloft what appeared to be a PSNI warrant card.

He claimed he was going to arrest Lord Justice Gillen, before security and court staff intervened.

Belfast Telegraph


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