Monday, 11 October 2010

Persecution of Colin Duffy and his family on the first day of committal proceedings

Coleraine court house was the venue for the first day of Colin’s PI. The original venue was Laganside court in Belfast but was changed at the eleventh hour. No reason was given for the change in venue but Colin’s family believe it was designed to inconvenience the family and prevent them and others from attending the hearing.

Court proceedings were supposed to begin at 10.00 am but were delayed until 12.30 pm. The reason for this delay soon became clear after a family member received a phone call from a POW in Maghaberry to say that Colin had been forcibly strip searched and assaulted before being transported on the long journey to Coleraine.

On arrival Colin met with his barrister Mark Mulholland and recounted his ordeal to him. This ordeal included the screws forcibly putting prison clothing on him. Once Colin’s handcuffs were removed Colin removed the offensive clothing. In his opening address to the court Mr. Mulholland drew the judge’s attention to the fact that Colin was sitting in the court with no clothing on underneath his coat. Mr. Mulholland continued, pointing out that this was a result of his clothes having been cut off him during the forced strip search.

Colin’s barrister then addressed the opening remarks of the prosecution where the prosecution stated to the judge that they would not be relying upon the soil analysis report which had been previously submitted to the judge and that they would not be calling the author of the report as a witness in the committal proceedings. Mr Mulholland then asked the judge to consider his own position in relation to continuing with the proceedings after having read a report which the prosecution had stated it wouldn’t be relying upon. This, Mr Mulholland said, could at the very least be perceived as being prejudicial to his client’s case.

The courts then adjourned at 1.15pm and reconvened at 1.45 pm. During the break the judge spoke to both the prosecution and Mr. Mulholland regarding the issue raised. Shortly after recommencing the judge withdrew from the case. The case is scheduled for tomorrow with a different judge presiding.

While leaving the court, Colin’s family were harassed by the RUC/PSNI. Solicitors representing both Colin and his co accused Brian Shivers were called to intervene on behalf of the family. One of the solicitors was told to mind his own business. After the incident had passed Damian Duffy, Colin’s brother said:

“Such behaviour and actions by this force will not deter our family from coming to these courts in support of Colin. We will not be intimidated.”

In a further development, Colin, via a phone call to a family member stated that upon his arrival back at Maghaberry he was once again subjected to a forced strip search. This time Colin also received a busted lip from his assailants and was dragged across the floor while naked. The governor overseeing the search and assault laughed throughout.

1 comment:

  1. He had the same treatment on his return from the court yesterday...dragged naked and beaten up and they busted his lip and he was bleeding all over the place. This morning all happened again....disgraceful.