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Cancer patient (70) in prison isolation over concerns he could contract Covid-19 refused High Court bail

Ronald Gordon is charged with possession of cannabis and cocaine for sale or supply at Sarsfieldstown, in Gormanston, Co Meath, on May 8, 2019.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Shutterstock.com

A 70-YEAR-old cancer patient who is currently “in isolation” in prison over concerns he could contract Covid-19 has been refused High Court bail. 

Ronald Gordon, with an address in Kirkby, in Liverpool, is charged with possession of cannabis and cocaine for sale or supply at Sarsfieldstown, in Gormanston, Co Meath, on May 8, 2019. The combined estimated street value of the drugs is in the region of €2.5 million. 

Mr Gordon, a UK national, was refused bail previously but his lawyers provided the High Court today with a consultant’s letter from Beaumont Hospital, which wasn’t available at previous bail hearings, and which set out his health difficulties.

Counsel for Mr Gordon, Michael Hourican BL, said the prognosis for Mr Gordon was “not good at all”. He said his client was currently in isolation in prison over concerns he could contract Covid-19, and the hearing took place in his absence. 

Mr Hourican said prison authorities have been “most anxious” to release as many people as they can to alleviate the situation and Mr Gordon was in a particularly vulnerable position himself. 

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicola Cox BL, said the objection to bail was not being made lightly. It was the third time Mr Gordon had applied for bail, his health issues had been ventilated previously and the letter changed nothing at all, she submitted. 

The allegations were exceptionally serious and there was nothing to suggest Mr Gordon should be released as a matter of urgency, Ms Cox submitted.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy commented that Mr Gordon was probably better cared for and “probably better protected” in prison than he would be in public. 

She said matters might change in the future but, at this juncture, there was no sufficient change in circumstances that would persuade the court to grant bail. 

Furthermore, she said there was nothing to suggest where Mr Gordon would be living if he was granted bail as he had no ties to Ireland. 

About the author:

Ruaidhrí Giblin

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