One law for one, no law for others

Tonight The pensive Quill features guest writer Christy Walsh who raises serious questions about the integrity of the North’s Public Prosecution Service.

The treatment of defence lawyer Mr Corrigan stands in marked contrast with how crown lawyers are treated despite compelling evidence of criminal conduct. In March 2010 I took one of Prosecutor, Gary McCrudden's files from the courtroom at the close of my Appeal Hearing. Shortly afterward I then presented a file to both the Justice Minister, David Ford, MLA and the Chief Constable, Matt Baggot. I detailed what appears to be the most serious form of criminal conduct within the PPS. Nothing was ever done about it.

When I enquired further I was informed that, without investigation, it was decided that no crime was committed. I pointed out that I had taken one of the Prosecutor's files without his consent, or knowledge and that some had suggested that that was an act of theft. I offered to return it to Belfast if the PSNI wished to speak to me but that was declined.

I later complained to the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson that the PSNI were failing to investigate evidence of serious crime. Given that the culprit(s) are Prosecutors the Ombudsman's Office informed me that the Chief Constable could not investigate a crown lawyer without a court order tasking the PSNI to investigate, I quote,

"Had the court been concerned as to the propriety of the actions of any witness or prosecutor, the usual consequence would have been a referral by the Judge to the police for investigation."

The Court is currently reviewing my application on this matter, among others, which I feel confident that it will address appropriately. On the 11th August, 2011, the following quote was included in the Justice Minister’s objections on the telling grounds that my case is in fact a class action,

" If Walsh's application succeeds it may gain a higher profile and raise questions over other convictions."

I have no idea what other cases the Justice Minister and his Dept are referring to but would ask are any of these other people still in prison? How many cases are we talking about? Do they involve all or any type of convictions or only those secured by Diplock Courts? Are they all Nationalist/Republican cases or do they involve Loyalists cases as well?

I would like now to provide you with only a modest sample of the evidence of serious improprieties within the PPS that warrant a moment’s thought at minimum.

In Mr Corrigan’s case his colleague Kevin Winters has speculated that the real reason why the PSNI have decided to arrest Mr Corrigan close to his representing clients in a serious murder case is to influence the judge into thinking that even their Lawyer is shady. In my own case the Prosecutor unduly influenced the Trial Judge to believe that I may have been involved in more serious matters than I was on Trial for. The Prosecutor put before the Trial Judge material of more serious offences for which I was not a suspect. Both my Barristers objected to this and asked that Judge Petrie should remove himself from hearing my case because,

"HIS HONOUR JUDGE PETRIE: Do you think I should not hear the case because I have been prejudiced because of matters which you say I should not have had put before me?

MR. MOONEY: Yes, your honour."
(Page 22 Trial Transcripts)

In 2009 Kevin Winters asked the PPS for access to the file which was used to influence the Trial Judge. On 8th June, 2009, the PPS refused him access because, “FSNI File 1942/91 contains no material relating to your client…”. Yet, this file was used to influence the mind of the trial judge?

In 1998, six years after my Trial, one of two main Military Witnesses retracted his trial testimony and disclosed that he had been "coached" prior to testifying. Ten years later the Court of Appeal instructed the Prosecutor to bring his witness before them so that he could explain himself. After a convincing time lapse the Prosecutor informed the Court of Appeal that that his witness could no longer be traced. The Detective tasked to trace the witness confirmed to me that he had successfully located the Military Witness and the witness had expressed a desire to "leave the past in the past". The Detective provided my Lawyers with a two page summary of what steps he had taken to locate the witness. This is clear evidence of a prosecutor deliberately perverting the course of justice.

There are many other damning facts but I will provide you with one other sample of the quality of the evidence against the Prosecutor.

At my Trial, in the absence of any photographs of the device’s location on a nearby wall, which was significant factor, the Military Witnesses used a map of the scene to assist the Judge’s understanding. The Soldiers indicated on the map a more favourable position than was true. While I was in the witness box the Prosecutor discredited me by claiming that I had made up a story about my interrogators showing me photographs of the device as it had sat on the wall. The Prosecutor falsely asserted that I trying to discredit the RUC about being shown any photographs that were not contained in the book of evidence. Here is a sample of how my cross examination went,

"Q668. With the wires coming out at the top. I want to suggest to you that the only photographs that you were shown was the album which is exhibit 5?

A. Your honour, I was shown two photographs with this object on the wall. One was at closer range than the other. That was down at that corner where Corporal Blacklock stopped me." (Page 617 of Trial Transcripts.)

Twenty years later in the Court of Appeal I recovered these Photographs from the same Prosecutors' files,

I would emphasise that this is by no means all of the persuasive evidence of serious criminality within the PPS. Any observer I imagine would quickly pick up upon the obvious disparity of treatment between Defence Lawyers and Crown Lawyers; on one hand innuendo is given great weight and on the other definitively compelling factual evidence is covered over by the PSNI and Justice Minister.


  1. Christy,

    an informative piece which illustrates just how malign and recalcitrant this body is. Thanks for sending it to us.

  2. From Christy Walsh:


    Thank you for publishing what I wrote on your blogg. Gary McCrudden is a junior counsel and for him to have continued with my prosecution PPS rules stipulate that an assitant director must agree that a prosecution lies and he/she must review the case every six months
    until trial. Both Mr McCrudden and the Assitant Director involved in my
    case are still practicing to this day without hindrence or question.
    David Ford and his Dept could have good reason to believe that this
    level of impropriety was involved in more than just my case. For
    example, if one were to consider how Raymond McCartney came periliously
    close to death in 1980, had he done so we might never have learned of
    the foul circumstances of his wrongful conviction. Earlier this year
    Lord Kerr questioned the propriety of two Prosecutors who appear to have
    arranged/permitted false evidence to mislead the Trial Judge in Mr
    McCartney's case. Lord Kerr expressed some concern about this but
    gave benefit of the doubt to the Prosecutors because of lack of clarity
    after all these years. We most likely will never know if there were
    similar occurences in the cases of ten men dead. See around paragraph
    153 of Supreme Court Judgment
    Perhaps by highlighting this issue others who were falsely/wrongly
    prosecuted by Gary McCrudden, or Assitant Director of the PPS, Mr
    Raymond Kitson, may discover a piece of the jigsaw they have been
    searching for. I know in my case for twenty years I had always assumed
    that the RUC had destroyed the missing Photographs above --maybe they
    were the obvious culprits and easy to blame, just as they blamed all
    Nationalists or Republicans. As I uncovered material in recent years the
    Detective in charge of my case in 1991 was very helpful in 2010 by
    contradicting the Prosecutor's claims that his weak link Military
    Witness could no longer be traced. One need only look back to the
    Birmingham Sixc case --the cops were the easy scapegoats and more
    expendable than those higher up the chain. The same seems to be true why
    the Brits have no problem conceding collusion in Pat Finucane's murder
    but seem too touchy about questions extending above Loyalist handlers.