Thursday 14 December 2017

Female garda in sexual assault case 'gave Santa boxers to accused'

The case is being heard before Letterkenny Circuit Court
The case is being heard before Letterkenny Circuit Court

Stephen Maguire

A GARDA who claims she was sexually assaulted and harassed by a fellow officer admitted buying him a red Santa boxer-shorts set for Christmas.

The underwear and other items were produced during a court case at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal yesterday.

The underwear was given as evidence in a case of Garda Kevin Corby, who is charged with seven counts of sexual assault and two counts of harassment against two female colleagues. Both took sick leave as a result of stress they suffered as a result of the garda's approaches, while one of the women tried to kill herself.

Yesterday was the second day of the trial, which is expected to last four days.

Defence barrister Peter Nolan told the court the garda bought the boxer shorts and other items as part of a 'Secret Santa' gift for a Christmas party in 2010.

"Why, if you despised this man, did you buy him a pair of sexy Santa boxer shorts?" he asked.

The garda said she had no idea but said it was the mildest item compared to the many items of "trash" that were bought by everyone for the party.

The second female garda told the court how she was also sexually assaulted and harassed by Gda Corby.

She alleged that her relationship with Gda Corby gradually got worse and that he constantly made reference to her weight and sex life. She alleges Gda Corby also made comments on the district garda radio for other members to hear.

She told how on one occasion he took her phone and wrote lewd text messages to male friends. "He wrote 'I'm at home on the couch. Do you want a ride' or something like that," she said.

She also listed three different occasions on which she claimed she was sexually assaulted. She alleges that on one occasion at a cafe he rubbed her thigh and told her she needed a man. Another time he put his hand inside her garda vest and touched her breast and on another he pinned her to a chair and rubbed his groin into her.

The women also denied suggestions by Mr Nolan that both women spoke about their cases as they prepared their statements for the court case.

Three male gardai from the station also gave evidence yesterday.

One garda told the court how, although it was banter, Gda Corby sometimes took matters too far.

"I was aware of one name and I believed he referred to (the female garda) as Big Mamma.

"Kevin could be perceived as a bit of a messer but I thought they all got on . . . I don't remember them getting upset. It was a bit of banter."

BANTER

Another garda said he had told Gda Corby that he was crossing the line but was told "f**k them, they are well able for it", he said.

He said that on one occasion one of the female gardai said she was going to get a roll to eat.

"He said she should get a 12-inch roll and that a six-inch roll would be no good to her," the garda said.

Judge John O'Hagan said there is always a bit of banter. But he asked the garda "you were looking from a male point of view. But if you were a female garda?" The garda replied "if it was consistent it could be seen as a bit more than banter", he said.

Another garda told how he saw Gda Corby sending text messages from the female garda's phone. "Once was funny but not when it kept going," he said.

He also admitted that he heard Gda Corby saying things of a sexual nature.

"There was no badness in him but he kept it going. He was known as Cheeky Corby."

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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