Seven to face circuit court under money laundering laws

A district court judge yesterday left it up to a circuit court to decide if upwards of seven senior counsel, along with junior counsel, would be assigned on free legal aid to a number of men and women facing various charges under money laundering legislation.

Books of evidence were served yesterday on seven accused.

Judge Con O’Leary sent the cases, against all seven, to the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court commencing on October 27.

A date will be fixed at that court for trial by judge and jury.

Diane Hallahan, solicitor, represented two accused Jessica Heaphy and Nicole Heaphy. She asked for free legal aid to be extended to a senior counsel in each case as well as a solicitor and junior counsel.

Ms Hallahan said it was a case with large books of evidence being served.

Judge O’Leary said if it was granted to one accused, it would have to be granted to all, and each would have two counsel, junior and senior.

“I would see it creating undue burden on the circuit court and on the public purse to assign 14 counsel and maybe three or four solicitors.”

He added: “I would prefer that the circuit court would make that decision.”

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, who represented four of the accused on free legal aid, asked for junior counsel and said he would reserve his position on the possibility of applying for senior counsel.

Shane Collins-Daly, solicitor, adopted the same position in respect of Caroline Ring.

The charges relate to alleged offences of having cash sums varying from €200 to €29,500 in cash and having post office books with balances of up to about €10,000.

It is alleged seizures of cash and post office books were made in February and March 2014 in the course of searches at 11 Kerryhall Rd, Fairhill, Cork, and 131 St Coleman’s Rd, Cork.

The charges, brought under Section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering ant Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, state the accused engaged in concealing the source, location and ownership of property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct, to wit a sum of cash or a post office book with a particular balance, while being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Jennifer Heaphy (nee Duggan), aged 34, of 11 Kerryhall Road, is charged with having cash sums of €29,500, €2,200, €650, and €3,000 at her home and a post office account with a €10,500 balance and post office in a juvenile’s name with a €10,010 balance at 131 St Coleman’s Rd.

Her husband, Jonathan Heaphy, aged 34, is charged with the same six counts and further charges of having €28,000 and €200 in cash and a post office account with just over €10,000.

Daniel Heaphy, aged 20, is accused of having €10,000 at 131 St Coleman’s Rd. Helen Heaphy, aged 51, is charged with having a post office book with about €6,000 in it. Jessica Heaphy, aged 20, is accused of having €3,000 in cash and €3,000 in a post office book at 11 Kerryhall Rd. All three have addresses at 59 Kerryhall Rd.

Caroline Ring, aged 51, of 6 Clover Avenue, Ard Sionnach, Shanakiel, Cork, is charged with having a €10,000 balance in a post office account. Nicole Heaphy of 131 St Coleman’s Rd is accused of having a €2,000 post office book and cash of €28,000 and €200.

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