12 Aug 2022

Rapist sues over alleged delay not to prosecute prison officers for alleged perjury

A convicted rapist who was awarded damages after being assaulted while serving his prison sentence has brought a legal challenge over an alleged delay in a review by the DPP into complaints of perjury by prison officers.

The action has been taken by Darius Savickis who wants the High Court to direct the DPP to complete a review into the decision not to prosecute prison officers over evidence they gave before the High Court in 2013.  

Savickis was awarded damages after the jury hearing his civil action found he was assaulted by several prison guards on September 29th 2009 while he was serving a sentence at Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon.

The incident was captured on CCTV. 

Originally from Lithuania, Savickis (48) with an address at An Fiodan Doughiska Co Galway was assaulted by a prison officer while serving a six-year sentence for orally raping a 23-year-old German woman when she was walking home from work in Galway on November 28th 2005.

In High Court proceedings he claims that in 2017 the DPP agreed as part of an agreement to settle other proceedings he had brought,  to review the decision not to prosecute anyone over the evidence given to the High Court. 

He claims his solicitors wrote to the DPP in March, April and November 2018  asking about what progress had been made in the review.

In a response received in early January, the DPP's office stating the review is "ongoing" taking longer than anticipated and would be "concluded early in the New Year."

No explanation has been offered for the delay in conducting the review, it is claimed. 

In 2013 a jury hearing Savikis High Court civil action awarded Savickis €224 after force had been used by the officers.  Attributing 95 per cent responsibility to Savickis, the jury reduced its award from €4,500 to €224.

He appealed and in 2016 the Court of Appeal found he was assaulted and awarded him €10,000, plus €5,000 exemplary damages over the evidence given by the prison officers and €2,225 over the use of unreasonable force. 

The Court of Appeal concluded that prison officers had lied under oath as part of an effort "to hide their complicity" in what was wrongful conduct in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The Judge presiding over the High Court action in 2013 remarked that the CCTV pictures made it "blatantly obvious "Savickis was "punched by a prison officer who denied it with all his colleagues."

In 2017 Savickis, applied to the High Court for permission to bring judicial review proceedings against the DPP and Garda Commissioner over the DPPs' March 2017 decision not to prosecute the prison officers for perjury.

That action was compromised after the DPP agreed to review the decision not to prosecute. 

In his latest judicial review action, Savikis seeks damages, as well as an order directing the DPP to complete the review within such time the High Court deems fit and proper.  

He also seeks various declarations including that the DPP has had a reasonable time to complete a review of the decision not to prosecute several prison officers who allegedly committed perjury during his civil action in 2013.

He further seeks declarations including that the DPP has breached his rights to fair procedures and breached its duty to vindicate Savikis's rights as a victim of a crime to bodily integrity.

Permission to bring the action against the DPP was granted, on an ex parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan on Monday.

The Judge made the matter returnable to a date in March. 

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