A man serving a life sentence for murder has lost a court action over meeting his sister’s killer in jail.
Darren Hart (23) from Newry, Co Down, claimed there was a breach of security at Maghaberry Prison after he came face-to-face with David Conway, who had murdered his 22-year-old sister in 1998.
In the High Court Hart’s lawyers argued that an adjudication hearing at the prison was conducted unfairly because the defence of duress was not adequately explored.
The hearing resulted in him losing evening association with other prisoners and being barred from the tuck shop for a week.
The court heard that Hart had been paranoid and distressed when simply passing the area of the prison where Conway was detained.
He was angry that the prison service breached a security decision that he and Conway were to be kept apart.
Hart’s application for judicial review of the adjudication was dismissed by the Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan who said that Hart and Conway had not spoken to each other and there was no suggestion of any hostile intent.
He held that Hart had not raised any threat either expressly or implicitly and therefore the prison governor was right to conclude that no case of duress had been raised.
Hart’s solicitor Fergal Shields, of Madden and Finucane, said afterwards they were disappointed with the decision and would give careful consideration to an appeal.