Mournes councillor Henry Reilly wins appeal against police assault conviction

Mournes councillor Henry Reilly wins appeal against police assault conviction

Councillor Henry Reilly, whose name has been cleared of wrongdoing following an incident with police at his home in September 2019

Matthew Dawson


Matthew Dawson


LONG-SERVING Mournes councillor Henry Reilly has seen his name cleared of any wrongdoing after a successful appeal this morning (Tuesday) at Newry courthouse.

Mr Reilly, 62, of Ballynahatten Road in Kilkeel, saw his conviction for two counts each of assault on police and resisting police quashed by Judge Gordon Kerr QC at an appeal to the County Court.

It comes at the end of a lengthy and expensive legal battle fought by Cllr Reilly to clear his name in relation to an incident which took place in his home in the early hours of 30 September, 2019.

He was convicted in June this year at Newry Magistrates' Court of the offences by District Judge Eamonn King, a ruling which Mr Reilly appealed.

The Outlook had previously reported comments by Judge Kerr at a prior appeal hearing in which he stated there were "undoubted flaws" in the police handling of the case.

In his comments ahead of sentencing, Judge Kerr said the police accounts of the alleged assaults carried out by Mr Reilly were "not similarly described by the two witnesses" and said police bodycam was "not properly used" during the incident, also criticising the police handling of the incident in other ways.

He also read out a doctor's report detailing the numerous injuries sustained by Mr Reilly in the incident, including a fractured finger and discomfort to his elbow and wrist. Neither police officer sustained any injury.

Judge Kerr said he "could not be sure" the officers who claimed to have been assaulted by Reilly "were acting in the execution of their duty" and therefore dismissed the charges.

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