William Murphy
Sexual Abuse

Law lecturer convicted of possessing child pornography loses latest legal challenge

Julian Myerscough was arrested on 2 October 2015 at a hotel in Dublin on foot of a European arrest warrant.

A LAW LECTURER who took a ferry to Ireland after an Ipswich jury convicted him of possessing images of the sexual abuse of a child has lost his latest legal challenge.

Julian Myerscough (54), formerly of Alexandra Road, Lowestoft in Suffolk, was found guilty by a jury of 13 counts of possessing indecent images of a child at Ipswich Crown Court on 30 September, 2015.

He was also found guilty of three counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order that had been placed on him following a previous conviction for a similar offence.

Although Myerscough had been in Ipswich Crown Court the day he was found guilty, he did not return after lunch when the jury reached its verdict.

He was convicted in his absence and police applied for a warrant for his arrest. Once the arrest warrant was issued police alerted the port and airport authorities and contacted gardaí as they feared he would flee to Ireland.

That night gardaí confirmed that Myerscough was on board a ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin. He was arrested on 2 October at a hotel in Dublin on foot of a European arrest warrant.

High Court judge Justice Aileen Donnelly ordered Myerscough to surrender to UK authorities on 29 February. On 11 March, she refused leave to appeal.

Article 40

On 21 March, lawyers for Myerscough made an application under Article 40 of the Constitution challenging his detention in Arbour Hill Prison. The expectation was that those proceedings would be determined by 22 March, but lawyers for Myerscough sought “further time”, according to lawyers for the State.

The 25-day time period, following the order for surrender, was approaching and “arrangements had been put in place”, State lawyers told the Court of Appeal.

As a result, lawyers for the Justice Minister, on 23 March, successfully applied to Justice Michael Twomey for a stay on the surrender order. It was done “in an abundance of caution for Myerscough’s rights”.

The Article 40 High Court application was heard in April. Judgment was delivered in June. It found Myerscough’s case was not arguable and the propositions put forward on his behalf were “unsustainable”.

In the Court of Appeal today Mr Justice John Edwards said there was no failure to afford Myerscough fair procedure.

Justice Edwards said the stay was lawfully granted in order to comply with Irish statute law. It operates to stop the clock and it was envisaged to lift the stay in a timely manner once the Article 40 proceedings had concluded.

The judge, who sat with Justice George Birmingham and Justice Garrett Sheehan, said the Court of Appeal dismissed Myerscough’s appeal on all grounds.

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Ruaidhrí Giblin