McArdle case is adjourned again

DERMOT McArdle has been granted another stay of execution in his battle to avoid jail time after having his extradition case adjourned for a month at the High Court on Wednesday.

DERMOT McArdle has been granted another stay of execution in his battle to avoid jail time after having his extradition case adjourned for a month at the High Court on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old, from Brookfield, Heynestown, Dundalk, was found guilty by a Spanish court in October 2008 of the manslaughter of his wife Kelly Ann Corcoran in Marbella in February 2000.

He was given a two year sentence at the time but such sentences are usually suspended for first time offenders. However, Mr McArdle’s failure to pay compensation to his two sons by Kelly Ann and to her parents, Ted and Bridie Corcoran, meant that he was ordered to return to Spain and serve the sentence last year.

He failed to meet a deadline to return to Spain to serve his sentence last September forcing Judge Fernando Gonzalez to issue a European Arrest warrant before Christmas that brought McArdle before the High Court.

However, his solicitor told the High Court on Wednesday that the 41-year-old is now appealing to the Constitutional Court in Spain.

Barrister Mark Lynam said it was the equivalent of a Supreme Court appeal and does not happen very often.

He said Mr McArdle had an arrangement with the Spanish authorities that he would not have to return until after his appeal. He added that because of this he had a “legitimate expectation” that he would not have to return until after the current appeal but the Spanish authorities seemed to be rowing back on this, according to Mr Lynam.

The barrister said issues of fair procedures would also be raised in objecting to the current extradition proceedings. He also wanted time to consult a Spanish solicitor as an expert witness.

Mr Lynam said he believed the legal issues in the case would “transcend the facts.”

Mr Justice Edwards said he had been persuaded that there were “possible novel legal points” to be argued in the case and granted an adjournment to March 9.