Tuesday 23 January 2018

Bail for man previously jailed for having badge similar to those of An Garda Siochana

Saurya Cherfi and Ray Managh

A 48-year-old man, who was sentenced to eight months in jail for possessing a badge with a crest similar to the one used by An Garda Siochana, has been granted bail in the High Court.

Micheal P O'Higgins SC told the court that his client, Anthony Nagle, from Dublin 1, had been arrested by Gardaí as he had been wearing the badge on his coat.

The court heard that under the Garda Siochana Act 2005, it is an offence to possess any distinctive badge or crest so closely resembling the badge or crest of the Garda Síochána as to be likely to deceive.

Mr O’Higgins said Mr Nagle had entered a guilty plea when the prosecution case was heard in the District Court last Wednesday.

Mr Justice Colm Mac Eochaidh heard that despite the Director of Public Prosecution having directed summary disposal, the judge, in an “unexpected turn of events,” sentenced Nagle to eight months imprisonment.

Counsel said the judge had refused to allow a suspended sentence.

Mr O’Higgins said Mr Nagle, who has in very poor health and suffers from depression, was a disadvantaged man who had been living as a recluse.  Mr Nagle had been surviving on disability benefit.

The court heard that Nagle was in possession of the badge for his own personal use, as he had been collecting badges.  Counsel said the sentence was “disproportionate.”

The case initially came before the court today (Friday) as an Article 40 application into the legality of Nagle’s detention.  Judge Mac Eochaidh granted the inquiry after hearing that the warrant on foot of which Mr Nagle was being detained in Mountjoy Prison was invalid.

Shortly after the State was put on notice of the inquiry, Mr O’Higgins told the court that following talks between the parties, the matter had been compromised.

Judge Mac Eochaidh struck out the Article 40 application and ordered Mr Nagle be released today on bail for a bond of €100.

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