Saturday 3 December 2016

Garda lied to GSOC in bullet and thong probe

Andrew Phelan

Published 28/04/2016 | 02:30

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A retired detective garda has been found guilty of lying to GSOC officers who were investigating the posting of a Valentine's Day card containing a bullet, a thong and "raunchy" poem.

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David O'Brien (52) was fined €500 for making a false statement to the garda watchdog.

O'Brien was a member of the "cold case" Serious Crime Review Team based at Harcourt Square. He has since left the force.

Dublin District Court heard a woman O'Brien knew allegedly mailed the envelope. When GSOC interviewed him he claimed he hadn't been in touch with her since the 1990s. However, the court heard the pair had exchanged hundreds of calls and texts before and after the package was allegedly sent.

O'Brien had pleaded not guilty to giving false or misleading information to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) on September 10, 2012. During the trial, the court heard nearly 300 calls and texts were exchanged between two phones linked to the pair over the course of eight weeks.

Detective Sergeant Michael Buckley received the package at his workplace where O'Brien worked under him.

The GSOC complaint was made by Det Sgt Buckley's wife Briege who claimed her husband was being bullied and intimidated. She felt the bullet was a threat to her and her two sons.

Defence barrister Kathleen Leader BL said the prosecution had admitted the evidence in relation to the woman's phone was "not strong". There was no evidence from anybody the phone was attributable to the woman in that time frame, Ms Leader said.

The court also heard O'Brien had no previous convictions of any kind.

Irish Independent

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