Joel trial set to go ahead in Wexford

AWAITING START DATE IN CIRCUIT COURT

THE trial resulting from the death of a severely malnourished and dehydrated mother of two is to go ahead in Wexford Circuit Court following a ruling made by the Supreme Court yesterday (Tuesday).

Evelyn Joel (59, pictured), of 37 Cluain Dara, Enniscorthy, died on January 7, 2006, in Wexford General Hospital weighing just four stone as a result of a combination of ailments including pneumonia and multiple sclerosis. She had been in hospital for six days prior to her passing.

Awaiting trial in the case are her daughter Eleanor Joel and her partner, John Costen, both of the same address of 37 Cluain Dara.

Proceedings have been held up thus far due to Judge Michael White in the Circuit Court ordering that the HSE should hand over documents relating to their investigation into Ms Joel's death. Six boxes of documents are involved altogether. The HSE appealed that ruling to the High Court, where it was found that Judge White did not have the jurisdiction to make that order in the Circuit Court.

The DPP then appealed this ruling to the Supreme Court, where it was dealt with yesterday, and where the High Court order was vacated with the consent of all parties involved. The HSE has therefore now agreed to make available all documents relating to their investigation to both the Prosecution and the Defence. As a result of this decision the trial has now been returned to Wexford Circuit Court for hearing.

The trial will now go ahead when a Judge becomes available, and is expected to take up to four weeks.

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