The Director of Public Prosecutions must finalise a case against a Newbridge man who has been in custody since early May, or risk losing the case.
The case against Mark Whyte whose address is listed as 1613, Pairc Mhuire, Newbridge has already attracted considerable attention given that he is charged with, amongst other things, allegedly tying up Brendan Higginbottom over the course of February 13 and 14, cutting off his ear and making him eat it.
A Garda inspector has given evidence at a previous court sitting that it will also be alleged that Mr. Whyte beat up Mr. Higginbottom and tortured him.
Back on May 1, at Kilcock District Court, Mr. Whyte applied for bail. Garda objected to it, fearing that Mr. White was planning to interfere with potential witnesses. Garda Seamus Doyle also noted said that the defendant was a flight risk and noted that he had 18 previous bench warrants (warrants issued for the arrest of person who fails to appear in court) since 2006.
And the Garda objected because of the seriousness of the charges against Mr. White.
However, before the issue of bail was decided, Mr. Whyte was jailed for contempt after he described the hearing as a “kangaroo court”.
When arrested, he had warned: “This won’t get near a court, I’ll make sure of that”. Mr. Whyte appeared back in Naas District Court last Thursday.
Judge Patrick Clyne heard that he has been in custody for 90 days at this stage. The Director of Public Prosecutions has not yet come back to prosecuting Gardai with recommendations on how to proceed with the case against Mr. Whyte.
At this stage he has already been refused bail. He would only consent to a further two week remand.
Judge Clyne agreed, saying he would mark it peremptory against the State, which means that the case will go ahead, regardless of whether the DPP is ready or not.
Depending on the DPP’s lack of preparedness at that point, there’s a possibility the charges may have to withdrawn. Inspector Paul Dolan estimated that it would be nearer four weeks before the case was ready.
“Our understanding is that the alleged injured party cannot be contacted,” Mr. Whyte’s solicitor told the court. “That’s not my understanding,” Inspector Paul Dolan replied.