Monday 11 December 2017

Garda claims he was left cut and bruised after being 'taken down' during unlawful arrest, court hears

Garda Oliver Cully, at the High Court
Garda Oliver Cully, at the High Court

A GARDA who claims he was unlawfully arrested on a night out has told the High Court he was cut, bruised and his shirt was "in ribbons" after he was taken to a garda station.

Garda Oliver Cully said he did not resist arrest in the incident, when he was off duty, and said when he walked away from officers dealing with him he was “taken down.”

The garda who works on protection duty at Aras an Uachtarain was being cross examined in the fourth day of his action against the State claiming he was assaulted, unlawfully arrested, falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted.

It arose out of an incident over when he questioned how much he was going to be charged for a taxi fare in April 24, 2004 after he had left a Dublin nightclub.

The State denies his claims.

A jury has heard he hailed a taxi after being at a piano bar and when told it would be €35 for the journey to his home in Lucan, he said he would pay what was on the meter.  He thought he was being overcharged.

The taxi driver drove to two gardai standing nearby.

Garda Cully alleged he was told to get out of the taxi by a garda.

Later, when he went to walk away he was rugby tackled to the ground by other gardai, handcuffed and arrested.

“I was cut, bruised. My shirt was in ribbons when I was brought to the station. I thought the whole thing should be investigated,”  he told the court.

Under continuing cross-examination by Hugh Hartnett SC, for the State, he said he had not initially given his name to a garda inspector who came to him when he was handcuffed and sitting on Camden Street, Dublin, because he felt threatened.

He said when an inspector came on the scene he was asked for his name.

"I said never mind. If you give me your name then I will give you mine. I was shocked, traumatised,threatened and emotional at the time,” he said.

He added he told the inspector he had not done anything wrong.

 “I have never seen a person left sitting on the street, he said.  He had spent 19 years working as a garda on the street before taking over protection duty at the Aras.

Counsel put it to Garda Cully  that the street incident lasted 20 minutes, Gardai Cully said he thought it was ten minutes long.

Garda Cully agreed he was asked by a garda to leave the taxi but denied when he did so he held on to the door.

Counsel suggested to him he had pushed two gardai  but Garda Cully said he did not push anyone.

Counsel asked Garda Cully did he  resist arrest,  Garda Cully replied no and said he had been "taken down."

The case continues.

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