independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Accused claims garda threw tea in his face

A MAN accused of threatening to kill three gardai claimed he had tea thrown in his face and was repeatedly pepper-sprayed while in custody.

Jamie Casey (29), of Balloonagh Estate, Tralee, Co Kerry claimed allegations made against him were a "pack of lies".

He denies threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Garda Patrick Naughton at Tralee garda station on August 18, 2010.

He also denies making the same threat to Gda Nigel Whelton at the garda station on October 13, 2010, and to Gda Donal Daly at Tralee courthouse on the same date.

The jury at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court heard Gda Naughton moved out of his rented accommodation and started to take different routes to and from work following the threat.

Pepper

When this was put to Mr Casey during a garda interview at Mayfield Garda Station in Cork on December 9, 2010, he replied: "He was a fair man to get out of a contract within a week."

He told Sgt Ernie Henderson, who was leading the investigation, that Gda Naughton threw tea in his face in his cell at Tralee garda station.

The accused also claims he was repeatedly pepper-sprayed both during his arrest on suspicion of drug-driving on October 13 and afterwards at the garda station.

His counsel has suggested unreasonable force was used in his arrest, which is vehemently denied by gardai.

Gda Ronan Culligan, who discharged his colleague Gda Marian McCarthy's pepper spray when they were arresting Mr Casey on suspicion of drug-driving, said Mr Casey's behaviour made him fear for his and his colleague's safety.

However, he insisted he "absolutely had not used unreasonable force".

The jury will begin its deliberations on Tuesday when the trial resumes.

Irish Independent

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