Tuesday 24 October 2017

Garda found guilty of assault on man who resisted arrest

Conor Kane

A THIRD garda was yesterday found guilty of an offence arising out of an assault on a man who resisted arrest.

The guilty verdicts against the three gardai were the first to be secured by the Garda Ombudsman in a jury trial.

Sergeant Martha McEnery, of Waterford station, was found guilty of assault, but not guilty of assault causing harm, to Anthony Holness at New Street in the city.

The case against Sgt McEnery had been adjourned from Friday evening after a jury at Waterford Circuit Court was given more time to reach a verdict.

Two of her colleagues were found guilty on Friday of charges that arose from the assault on January 29 of last year in Waterford.

Sergeant Alan Kissane was acquitted.

Yesterday's unanimous verdict, after more than four hours of deliberation by the jury, brought an end to a trial that began four weeks ago and followed an investigation by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

GSOC head of communications Kieran FitzGerald said afterwards: "Satisfaction or disappointment doesn't really come into it. Our job is to gather the evidence and bring it to the public forum."


All four gardai were based at Waterford garda station in Ballybricken at the time of the incident -- on New Street in the city.

Mr Holness was on his way home from a night out when he was seen urinating on the street by Garda Daniel Hickey and a probationary officer who were on patrol at the time.

Gda Hickey decided to arrest Mr Holness at about 3am and when the man resisted he used pepper spray.

The garda bundled Mr Holness to the ground and punched him on the back of the head several times, according to the prosecution.

Sgts McEnery and Kissane arrived on the scene after responding to a radio call for help.

While Mr Holness lay face-down on the ground, Sgt McEnery was alleged to have struck him on the head a number of times with a closed fist.

Gda Hickey was found guilty of assaulting Mr Holness, causing him harm.

Garda John Burke was found guilty of acting in a manner tending or intended to pervert the course of justice and also of acting in a way that was intended to impede the apprehension or prosecution of another.

Gda Burke was operating the city's CCTV system at the Waterford garda station communications room and, according to the prosecution, twice diverted a camera away from the assault on Mr Holness.

Following Friday's verdicts, Gda Hickey and Gda Burke were remanded on continuing bail and will be sentenced on November 7.

Sgt McEnery was yesterday remanded on continuing bail to the same date for sentencing.

Irish Independent

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