A GARDA is facing trial after allegedly giving a forged letter in the name of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to a sexual abuse victim.
Wicklow-based Garda Catherine McGowan (46), from west Dublin, who is stationed in Bray, made a brief appearance before Dublin District Court yesterday when her case was called.
She is charged that on June 21, 2011, she used a copy of a letter dated January 14, 2009, from the Office of the DPP, which she knew, or believed to be, a false instrument with the intention of inducing another person to accept it as genuine and by doing so, to do some act or to make some omission to the prejudice of that or any other person contrary to section 28 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.
Dressed in a black trouser suit and white blouse and clutching a handbag, Gda McGowan stood silently in the body of the court while her case was dealt with by Judge Victor Blake.
Details of arrest, charge and caution were given to the court by Garda Sergeant Ger White.
State solicitor Tom Conlon said the instruction of the Director of Public Prosecutions was that the case should be sent forward for trial on indictment.
Judge Blake adjourned the case to July 19 for service of a book of evidence.
The Rape Crisis Network (RCNI), a specialist information and resource centre on rape and all forms of sexual violence, said it was "shocked" to hear about the case of a garda being prosecuted for allegedly giving a forged letter in the name of the DPP "informing a survivor of sexual violence that their case had been dropped, when in fact it had not".
In a statement, the RCNI said that its rape crisis centres and the gardai had worked hard building good and appropriate relationships in the interests of the effective investigation of sexual crimes and to vindicate survivors' rights and dignity.
"It is in everyone's interest that no questions remain over the commitment of all to the common goal of securing justice," the RCNI said.