Tuesday 19 September 2017

Acquitted garda to testify in new case

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A GARDA sergeant acquitted of assaulting a man who resisted arrest is to give evidence in a criminal trial against another officer accused of assaulting a member of the public.

Sgt Alan Kissane, of Waterford garda station, was the only one of four officers to escape conviction after an assault on Anthony Holness, a man who urinated in public in the city last year.

Sgt Kissane, who denied that he kicked or hit Mr Holness and was unanimously acquitted by a jury last Friday, is now expected to return to full duties.

But jurors in the Holness trial heard that Sgt Kissane will be back in court shortly to testify against another garda facing trial at the District Court for an alleged assault on a member of the public.

It is understood that the alleged assault, when the garda was on duty, took place in Waterford city last year.

This latest prosecution comes as the courts are experiencing an increase in prosecutions involving alleged garda misconduct.

Investigation

The trial of the Waterford garda follows a complaint to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), whose separate investigation into the assault of Mr Holness led to the first convictions against serving members of the gardai for an assault in the course of their duties.

Sgt Kissane has been listed as a prosecution witness in the trial which was adjourned as a result of the month-long trial of Sgt Kissane and three of his colleagues.

Earlier this week, Garda Daniel Hickey, who is facing up to five years in prison for assaulting Mr Holness, resigned from the force ahead of his sentencing hearing.

He and two other colleagues are facing prison terms ranging between two years to life for their role in the assault on Mr Holness.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan will shortly receive a report from GSOC before deciding whether a range of disciplinary sanctions, including expulsion or suspension from the force, should be taken against Sergeant Martha McEnery and Garda John Burke -- who were also convicted following a lengthy jury trial at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court.

All three, who are currently on bail, will be sentenced on November 7. The three convictions are the first secured by GSOC following a jury trial since it came into being in 2007.

Irish Independent

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