Monday 5 December 2016

Garda wiped his baton clean after assault, trial told

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 08/07/2011 | 05:00

A GARDA said she saw one colleague wipe his baton and another wipe his knuckles after an alleged assault at a flat.

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Gda Catherine Patterson, then a student garda, said she recalled Gda Eoin Murtagh asking for an antiseptic wipe for a graze on his knuckles.

She said her then tutor, Gda Sean O'Leary, cleaned his baton with a similar wipe when they returned to their patrol car after leaving the flat on Dublin's Basin Street three years ago.

Gda Patterson told counsel for the prosecution, Tom O'Connell, that it was suggested she might be implicated or be an accessory to a crime and would lose her job when another accused, Gda Claire Delaney, had asked about the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

Gda Patterson said when asked what she had seen, she replied "nothing", and Gda Murtagh responded: "Right answer."

Gardai O'Leary, Murtagh, Delaney and Gda Alan Conlon have pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to forcing entry at a Basin Street Upper premises, entering as a trespasser and assaulting Owen Gaffney (21) causing him harm on February 17, 2008.

Gda Murtagh, Gda Conlon and Gda Delaney also pleaded not guilty to the false imprisonment of Fidelma Gaffney on the same occasion.

Hugh Hartnett, defending Gda O'Leary, put it to Gda Patterson that in her original Garda Ombudsman statement she said three male gardai went upstairs before Ms Gaffney asked to see a warrant, whereas she said in court Ms Gaffney had asked to see a warrant and then gardai went upstairs.

When Mr Hartnett asked her if what she'd said three weeks after the event was more likely to be accurate, she replied: "Correct."

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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