The Court of Criminal appeal has quashed the convictions of former Mercy nun, Nora Wall, and Paul 'Pablo' McCabe, who were sentenced last Friday for raping a ten-year-old girl. Both have been granted bail and the question of a possible re-trial will be considered in the autumn. The application to have last week's convictions set aside was made by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Court was told that one witness had been inadvertently called to give evidence at the trial. Nora Wall was sentenced to life for her part in the rape of Regina Walsh and her co-defendent Pablo McCabe was jailed for twelve years.

The dramatic developments in the case came just before noon when Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions asking the Court of Criminal Appeal to set aside the convictions. Mr Denis Vaughan-Buckley told the court that one witness had been called to give evidence at the trial inadvertently, despite a decision of the DPP that this person should not be called.

Mr Vaughan-Buckley also referred to two other additional though less central factors in the case. The first was the information that the alleged victim had made but not pursued an allegation of being raped in England. He said that whatever the significance of this information it could not be properly argued that it was not relevant. He said that the prosecution was not aware of this information until it was mentioned in court. There was also another as yet undisclosed factor relating to the alleged victim which might be considered relevant.