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You will be arguing on behalf of either the Director of Public Prosecutions or. Tom De ’Vinci All advocates have an ultimate duty to the Court so your submission should deal with case law which supports an argument you wish to make, and those which you do not. You are free, of course, to argue that a particular case is more applicable to your side of the scenario than the other side, however, take care not to mislead by omitting case law which does not support your position.
While in general legal submissions rely predominantly on case law, for the purposes of this exercise you may, if you think the law is uncertain or in need of reform, introduce limited academic commentary from textbooks or learned academic articles to support your position. Primarily, however, you should use case law from Ireland. Where relevant, use influential case-law from other common law jurisdictions, taking care to note that case law from other jurisdictions will only ever be persuasive, whereas Irish case law can binding.
The appellant was on the 3rd of October 2005, convicted in the Central Criminal Court of the murder of Tom De’Vinci on the 11th of May, 2001, at O’Connell Street in the City of Dublin. The deceased was aged 17 years old and had been the victim of a savage assault on the night of his death. In the hours preceding his death, he had been present along with the appellant and other youths at a house party in the area. Both drink and drugs, including ecstasy, were available at the party.
The post-mortem on the deceased carried out by the State Pathologist revealed that the deceased had a high blood alcohol reading and some intake of ecstasy. At about 1:30 am on the night, the appellant and the deceased left the party together to visit a nearby shop to buy some cigarette papers to roll some joints of cannabis.
They were joined by the brother of the appellant. Sometime after 2:00 am, having been lured by the appellant to a quiet spot, the deceased was set upon. He broke free from this initial assault and ran about 100 yards before being caught, at which point he was repeatedly kicked and beaten to the head and other parts of the body by the appellant and his brother.
A length of timber was also used in the beating. He was found shortly afterward lying on his back in the middle of the roadway in an unconscious state. His upper clothing had been torn off by his assailants. He was having great difficulty in breathing when first found by witnesses Kimberly and Khloe at about 2:30 am. He was turned on his side in an effort to facilitate breathing. An ambulance arrived at approximately 2:40 am.
He was then noted not to be breathing and various efforts to restore breathing failed. The ambulance crew conveyed him to Tallaght Hospital. The ambulance crew failed to properly strap him on the stretcher. On taking him out of the ambulance, he fell unto the concrete ground. He was pronounced dead approximately 1 hour later.
The facial injuries suffered by the deceased seem clear from the accounts of witnesses to have resulted in very significant bleeding which, having regard to the position of his body in the aftermath of the assault, could only have resulted in the inhalation of substantial quantities of blood. Evidence at the trial noted that the deceased’s lungs had accumulated blood and other fluid and concluded that the source of the same in the lower lobes of the deceased’s lungs was due to the facial injuries sustained by the deceased in the course of the assault.
These injuries, particularly in the region of the mouth and nose, resulted, in the inhalation of blood into the lungs leading to death by asphyxiation. The deceased’s airway from the tongue downwards to the windpipe or trachea and into the lungs contained a mixture of blood and mucus. The deceased’s cough reflex, which might have enabled him to cough up this blood and fluid was suppressed owing to a concussion which in turn had been caused by multiple head injuries suffered during the assault.
Evidence at trial also noted that the deceased had an abnormal heart rate and had consumed a substantial amount of ecstasy on the night of his death. Tom De’Vinci’s legal team has decided to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the causative link was broken by the ambulance fall, the drugs he consumed, and his abnormal heart, and his conviction should be quashed. No other legal points other than those just highlighted should be addressed in any submissions.
You will argue on behalf of the Applicant, Tom De’ Vinci, or on behalf of the Respondent Director of Public Prosecutions. As outlined above, Counsel for Tom De’Vinci will be arguing that the chain of causation was broken. Counsel for the DPP will be arguing that the judgment was correct. As stated, your submission should address nothing more than the above-raised point.