Saturday 23 September 2017

Garda suspect had his privates 'inspected' by squad, court told

Ray Managh

A PRISONER in a garda station was told to remove his trousers and underpants and had his privates "inspected" by gardai, a judge has been told.

Judge Matthew Deery heard it was one of a litany of humiliating experiences gardai put Paraic Brady through after a squad of nine had turned up to arrest him and search his home for evidence.

Mr Brady sued the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner for assault and false imprisonment as well as trespass on his home where gardai had carried out an unlawful search.

The Circuit Civil Court heard yesterday that Mr Brady's €38,000 claim had been settled.

Mr Brady told the court he had been woken in his bed shortly after 9am on April 19, 2004, by Detective Garda Jim Campbell, told to get dressed, arrested, handcuffed and taken outside to a garda car in the full gaze of neighbours.

Barrister Ronan Kennedy said Mr Brady, who is unemployed and has suffered from depression, had never been charged with any crime. Gardai suspected him of having harassed a former neighbour in a letter. A file on that case was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions but not acted on.

Mr Brady's elderly mother, Anna, outlined to the judge how she stood in her night clothes on the landing watching gardai brush past her husband Patrick (who has since died) and ignore his inquiry as to whether they had a search warrant.

She said she had gone back to her bedroom while six gardai carried out a search of the Brady home at Denniston Park, Granard, Co Longford.

"They must have been there for up to five hours. When they had finished, the house looked as if it had been hit by a bomb," she told the Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Deery.

Det Garda Campbell (now retired) who had led the arrest and search team on Mr Brady's home, told the court he had not obtained a search warrant. He had been investigating the alleged harassment of a former neighbour of Mr Brady's, Catherine Murray, of Caragh, Granard.

He said Ms Murray had received letters of a pornographic nature purporting to come from a Peter Collins, a suspect of the Murray family but not of the gardai. Det Campbell interviewed Mr Collins before arresting Mr Brady.

Nazi

Mr Brady said he had been interviewed in Longford garda station.

He told the court he had been called a Nazi and that garda Frank McHugh had said to him: "You are a lying son of a bitch and you f***ing know you are. If you want a bit of p***y you should go out and get it instead of choking your chicken in front of a computer screen."

He had been told to lower his pants and underpants. His privates had been "looked at" by a number of officers in the cell and he had been told it was "routine".

Following a two-day hearing, in which gardai denied claims of any wrongdoing, Judge Deery was told yesterday that Mr Brady's €38,000 claim had been settled and could be struck out with an order covering his legal costs.

Irish Independent

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