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Former garda to be extradited to England to face manslaughter charge

Oliver Hurley had been sought for trial after Manolito Chando died on 9 April 2016, following an assault at a Salvation Army hostel in London.

File photo
File photo

THE HIGH COURT has ordered the extradition of a former garda to the UK on an alleged manslaughter charge after he handed himself in to gardaí following his image appearing on RTE’s Crimecall programme.

High Court judge Aileen Donnelly today delivered her judgment granting the State’s application for the extradition of Oliver Hurley.

The 63-year-old Dublin man who resides in the UK is wanted by the English authorities on foot of a European Arrest warrant dated 15 June 2016.

Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL for the Minister for Justice and Equality told the court that the respondent is sought for trial in the UK after Manolito Chando died on 9 April 2016 following an assault at a Salvation Army hostel in Great Peter Street in London on 24 March that year.

“There is very clear CCTV evidence that the defendant pushed the victim with considerable force from which he got a head injury with a bleed to the brain which placed him in a coma. There is no justification for the degree of force used by the respondent,” Ní Chúlacháin said.

The court heard that Hurley was homeless at the time of the incident and both the respondent and the deceased were residing in the hostel at the time.

“Mr Hurley described the deceased running towards him saying he was going to kill him. There is little doubt that the respondent is the person who pushed the victim on 24 March,” Ní Chúlacháin said.

Hurley travelled from Holyhead to Dublin on Irish Ferries on 17 April last year, the court heard.

Defence counsel, Anne Fitzpatrick BL, told the court that Chando was in an intoxicated state on the day in question and approached Hurley in the hostel.

“The respondent sought to avoid any confrontation with the deceased and sought to defend himself. He seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and an accident occurred which is regrettable,” Fitzpatrick said.

Counsel told the court her client voluntarily assisted the police with their inquiries and told them he was attacked by Chando. The court heard he was granted police bail.

“Mr Hurley honestly believed he was not wanted by police with their inquiries and he voluntarily came and went between Ireland and the UK in the intervening period. He was in the UK for the month of September before returning to Ireland in October,” Fitzpatrick said.

Hurley then voluntarily presented himself to gardaí at Greystones Garda Station in Co Wicklow on 26 October, 2016 after seeing himself on RTE’s Crimecall programme, the court heard.

Health issues 

Counsel told the court Hurley is in advanced years, in poor health and is currently residing with family members.

He retired from An Garda Siochana in 1988 and then pursued his living as a fisherman and musician.

Delivering her judgment today, Justice Aileen Donnelly said this was an allegation of a serious crime of violence, namely that of manslaughter, and there was a high public interest in Hurley’s extradition in this case.

“He has some relatively minor health issues common in a man of his age,” she said.

“It appears that the European Arrest Warrant makes it clear that the alleged assault caused the death as there is CCTV allegedly showing that this respondent pushed him with considerable force and the warrant says there was no justification for this force. In an Irish context if proven this would amount to an offence of manslaughter,” the judge added.

Justice Donnelly said that the alleged push from Hurley led to Chando’s head injury and a bleed on the brain which resulted in him ending up in a medically induced coma.

She then made an order directing that Hurley be surrendered to the UK.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

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Alison O'Riordan

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