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Garda accused of coercing and threatening to kill his wife sent for trial

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A GARDA has been sent for trial accused of coercing and threatening to kill his wife, who was also a member of the force.

The garda cannot be identified under a temporary gagging order made by a court, following submissions by the defence.

Judge Paula Murphy imposed the order until the case comes back before the courts at the end of the month, when the legal issue will be dealt with fully.

The Dublin-based officer (43), who has a number of children, is charged with threatening to kill or cause serious harm to his then wife on dates in October 2012.

He is also charged with coercing her, at the same address outside Dublin on the same dates.

State solicitor John Forde told Dublin District Court a book of evidence had been served and the DPP was consenting to the accused being sent forward for trial to the present sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The judge made a minor amendment to the dates of the alleged offences at the request of the prosecution.

Defence solicitor Robert Purcell said the case went back eight years, the complaint was made in 2018 and there had been a substantial investigation.

After the accused was handed the book of evidence, Judge Murphy gave him the formal warning that he has 14 days to provide the prosecution with details of any albi he intends to rely on in the course of his trial.

The garda nodded when the judge asked if he understood this.

Bail had been granted in the district court in December last year and there was no objection to him going forward on existing bail terms.

Under conditions, he is to have no contact, directly or indirectly with the alleged victim and stay out of the county she lives in, except for circumstances previously set out.

The judge extended free legal aid following an application by Mr Purcell, who said his client’s financial means had not changed since he was last in court.

Judge Murphy also ordered the prosecution to furnish the defence with copies of the accused’s garda interview video.

Mr Purcell then asked the court to exercise its discretion to anonymise all parties in the case. He said he was not asking for reporting to be restricted but that the parties would be anonymised.

Mr Forde said he had no instructions on this issue. Judge Murphy first said the issue could be raised in the circuit court.

Mr Purcell said “the cat may well be out of the bag” by then.

Judge Murphy then said she would put reporting restrictions on the case for the moment until such time that the full facts of the issue were before the circuit court.

The accused remained in court to sign his new bail bond and was remanded on bail.

The charges are under the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Online Editors