Tuesday 28 March 2017

Dad of nine cleared of sex assault on garda at Puck Fair

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

A FATHER of nine was cleared yesterday of sexually assaulting a female garda at the Puck Fair festival.

Cyril Moriarty (53) of Tulligbeg, Killorglin, Co Kerry, had denied grabbing the garda by the groin at Upper Bridge Street, Killorglin, on August 13, 2008.

The jury also returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty on a further charge of assaulting the garda causing her harm on the same date.

However, Moriarty was found guilty on a 10-2 majority verdict of obstructing a garda after more than two-and-a-half hours of deliberations at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Moriarty had pleaded not guilty to all three counts in the six-day trial.

Sentencing has been adjourned until Wednesday.

The alleged offences occurred during the last night of Puck Fair when Moriarty was out socialising with his wife and other members of his family.

The garda had alleged Moriarty grabbed her inappropriately when she was attempting to arrest him for a public order offence and began to squeeze, causing her to cry out in pain.

The defendant said gardai were "making it up" and it was "a disgrace" he had been accused of the offences.

"I would not do that to any woman and I did not assault the garda," he said, adding that the accusations against him were "completely false".

"I was knocked to the ground on the flat of my back by bouncers, dragged along the ground and bundled in the door of the garda station. I did not lay a hand on the garda. I never touched her," he told the court.

Under cross-examination by barrister Tom Rice, Moriarty had agreed to do such a thing would be despicable.

"It would be a despicable thing for any man to do to a woman but I did not do it," he insisted.

The court had heard evidence that gardai had been called to a disturbance at a pub in the town but when they arrived the door was closed.

The garda approached Moriarty on the street and asked him a number of times for his name and address.

Arrest

She said she reminded him she had the lawful right to arrest him for not giving the information but when she went to walk him into the garda station he stiffened and refused to move.

The court was told that the garda had not kept underwear she claimed was bloodstained following the alleged incident as evidence and had not attended a sexual assault treatment unit.

The doctor who examined the garda said there was no evidence of bruising to her groin area.

The garda had been wearing her uniform trousers and outer waterproof trousers while on duty that night.

Irish Independent

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