Thursday 21 September 2017

No jail for garda who assaulted two women

Brian Hanrahan Picture: Press 22
Brian Hanrahan Picture: Press 22

Conor Kane and Robin Schiller

A garda convicted of assaulting two women is already suspended from the force and is likely to face further internal disciplinary action.

Brian Hanrahan was yesterday convicted on two counts of assault causing harm and given a six-month suspended prison sentence.

In 2015, Hanrahan made headlines after he was shot in the back and leg during a botched robbery at an ATM machine during a holiday in New Orleans.

However, Hanrahan is now expected to be disciplined further internally, after receiving a criminal conviction for assault.

Hanrahan (33), of Ballintotty, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was convicted earlier this year of two offences of assault causing harm. He had denied the charges which involved punching and kicking one woman and hitting the other victim.

The assaults occurred when a row broke out over payment for a lift home after a night out in Nenagh.

At a sentencing hearing, Judge Elizabeth MacGrath described the assault on one of the victims, Emer Kelly, who was punched in the jaw and kicked, as "a serious assault".

She said that the other victim, Aisling King, had been acting as a "good Samaritan" by coming to her friend's aid when she was slapped on the face.

His solicitor Daniel O'Gorman said Hanrahan was a garda with "a string of commendations", and an excellent work record, was a "great colleague" and very popular.

The judge decided that in view of the matters outlined by Mr O'Gorman, and the fact Hanrahan had no previous convictions, she would suspend the prison sentences.

She imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, for the assault on Ms Kelly and a concurrent three-month sentence, suspended for a year, for the assault on Ms King.

After the court case, Ms Kelly's mother Pauline and Ms King's mother Angela thanked gardaí and legal team who mounted the case against Hanrahan.

Pauline Kelly said the last 12 months had been "horrific" for the victims.

Gardaí said that they do not comment on internal cases but it is understood the Limerick-based garda was already suspended by An Garda Síochána as a result of the criminal charges brought against him.

"He was already suspended prior to the sentence hearing after criminal charges were brought against him.

"He will now, more than likely, face further and more serious internal disciplinary action after being convicted."

Hanrahan was hospitalised in the US and underwent emergency surgery before being allowed to return home and eventually back to garda duty.

And last year, Hanrahan was awarded €36,000 compensation for injuries he suffered while chasing down criminals almost seven years ago.

Irish Independent

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