As of close of business yesterday Eamonn Lillis had not lodged any appeal of his sentence or his conviction for manslaughter. This made the papers today because we’ve all become so used to seeing high profile appeals in murder and manslaughter cases. Finn Colclough’s appeal yesterday for example or the upcoming appeal of Sharon Collins and Essam Eid, the subjects of my book Devil in the Red Dress.
It was expected that Lillis would appeal, especially since his counsel Brendan Grehan SC, had asked for the jury to be discharged after they had been charged by Mr Justice Barry White. Appeals of convictions can only be taken on a legal matter since the jury’s decision cannot be questioned. Close of business day marked the latest time he could apply for an automatic appeal hearing. That doesn’t rule out an eventual appeal, it simply means it will be a lot harder to do so as he will first need to apply for leave to appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeal.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not there is an eventual appeal. If not then Lillis will have the distinction of being one of the very few high profile convicts not to have appealed his sentence or conviction after pleading his innocence throughout his trial. It’s the usual codicil after a high profile trial.
I could understand why he wouldn’t appeal though. Throughout the trial he was extremely steadfast about his intention to shield his daughter from as much further stress as possible. Of course we shall never know exactly why an appeal isn’t taken, and at this stage one still might be, but it is an interesting addendum to what has been a fascinating trial.