Friday 27 April 2018

Female garda charged over forged DPP letter

Catherine McGowan pictured leaving court
Catherine McGowan pictured leaving court

Andrew Phelan

A FEMALE garda has appeared in court after being arrested and charged with using a forged letter from the DPP in connection with a criminal investigation.

Catherine McGowan (46) was remanded on continuing bail after a judge was told she is facing a jury trial on the charge.

The officer was brought before Dublin District Court this morning after her arrest on suspicion of the fraud offence, alleged to have happened at a garda station in Co Wicklow two years ago.

Garda McGowan, who is from west Dublin and is based at a Co Wicklow Garda Station, is charged with one count of using a copy of a false instrument. The offence is alleged to have happened at Bray Garda Station on June 21, 2011.

The offence is under Section 28 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001.

The charge is that she used a copy of a false instrument with the intention of inducing another person to accept it as genuine, to the "prejudice of that or any other person".

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the Director Of Public Prosecutions, dated January 14, 2009.

The accused was remanded on continuing bail pending her trial.

Judge Victor Blake adjourned the case for eight weeks for the state to prepare a book of evidence.

A garda sergeant handed evidence of the accused's arrest, charge and caution into court by certificate.

State Solicitor Tom Conlon said the DPP was directing trial on indictment. This means that the case will be sent for trial by judge and jury to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The judge addressed all parties in the case, including the accused, who replied: "Good morning".

Mr Conlon then said he was seeking an eight-week adjournment. Defence Solicitor Andrew Freeman said there was consent to this.

Judge Blake adjourned the case to the same court on July 19, for the service of the book of evidence. He extended the time allowed to do this.

The accused, wearing a black suit, white shirt and with her hair tied back, addressed the court only to greet the judge during the brief hearing.


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