Wednesday 21 March 2018

Garda didn't return to work after attack because he couldn’t wear his uniform trousers, court hears

Conor Gallagher

A GARDA has told a court he had to take three months off work after been kicked in the groin by a bus driver because he couldn’t wear his garda uniform trousers.

The bus driver is on trial accused of repeatedly kicking the garda in the testicles and knocking him unconscious when he was pulled over in Dublin city centre.

Patrick Fitzpatrick (63) denies assaulting the garda and claims he was the one who was attacked during incident.

Fitzpatrick of Drumree, Dunshaughlin pleaded not guilty to assaulting Sergeant Neil Crowley at Blackhall Place, Dublin 8 on July 7, 2007.

During cross-examination, Sgt Crowley said he used his baton to strike the bus’s steering wheel in an attempt to make Mr Fitzpatrick let go of it. He said he hit the steering wheel several times but denied striking the bus driver’s wrists.

Defence counsel Caroline Biggs SC put it to the garda that he never mentioned he used his baton in his statement. Sgt Crowley responded that this was because he didn’t use his baton on a person as is its intended use.

Ms Biggs presented several photographs to the garda which allegedly show bruising and redness to Mr Fitzpatrick’s arms, hands and wrists. Sergeant Crowley denied causing the injuries and said they could have been caused by the handcuffs put on the accused afterwards.

He also suggested that people taking the medication Warfarin suffer such marks. When Ms Biggs showed him a photo of alleged bruising to Mr Fitzpatrick’s chest, Sgt Crowley said they were “blotches”.

“I’m not actually asking for your medical opinion, I’m just asking what you see,” Ms Biggs replied.

Counsel put it to him that no witness had seen Mr Fitzpatrick out of his seat or lunging at the garda. Sgt Crowley maintained that he was kicked in the groin on the steps of the bus and struggled with the accused in the bus’s walkway before being pushed out the door and hitting his head off the wall.

Ms Biggs asked the witness why he took three months off work after the incident when the hospital doctor told him no follow up appointment was needed and the garda doctor said that the injuries would heal soon.

Sgt Crowley replied that he there were issues with his groin area and that a scan showed that there was a lump there. He said he couldn’t return to the force as he could only wear tracksuit bottoms because of his injury.

A witness who was passing by told prosecuting counsel Cormac Quinn that he saw the garda fall out of the bus with some force and hit the ground with “a sickening thud.” Another witness who lived above the scene said she saw the garda come “flying” out of the bus very fast. She said he then lay on the ground not moving.

The trial continues before Judge Desmond Hogan and a jury of seven men and five women.

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