Garda accused of using forged DPP letter faces trial
A GARDA has been sent forward for trial accused of using a forged letter, claiming to be from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in connection with a criminal investigation.
Garda Catherine McGowan (46), who is attached to a Co Wicklow garda station, appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday morning.
It is alleged that on June 21, 2011, she used a letter from the DPP, dated January 14, 2009, "which was, and which you knew or believed to be, a false instrument with the intention of inducing another person to accept it as genuine and by reason of so accepting the said instrument to do some act or to make some omission, to the prejudice of that or any other person".
If found guilty, Gda McGowan faces 10 years in jail.
A book of evidence had been drafted and was served on the accused during the short hearing.
The officer, who is from west Dublin and was wearing a grey suit and yellow blouse, has not yet entered a plea.
Judge Blake advised her that if she intended to use an alibi in her defence she must provide the prosecution with the details in writing within 14 days.
Judge Blake then made an order sending Gda McGowan forward for trial and there was no objection to her being remanded on continuing bail in her own bond of €100.
Defence solicitor Sean Costello said his client was seeking legal aid and handed in a statement of her means.
However, Judge Blake said the decision on whether the officer would be entitled to assistance would have to be deferred.
"I require a full certificate of earnings in this matter," the judge informed Mr Costello.
Gda McGowan was released on bail, pending her next hearing, which is scheduled to take place at the Circuit Court, in Dublin, on October 11.