Wednesday 17 January 2018

Garda tells court he is not guilty of sex assaults

Tom Tuite

A GARDA sergeant has denied claims he sexually assaulted two female colleagues while on duty at a Dublin garda station last year.

The officer, who is in his forties, made his second appearance at Dublin District Court yesterday where he faces three counts of sexual assault on dates in March and June 2010.

Reporting restrictions were imposed earlier to prevent the identification of the complainants. This included an order prohibiting publication of the defendant's name, place of work and where the incidents allegedly occurred.

One woman has claimed she was sexually assaulted twice and the other alleges it happened to her once.

Dressed in a dark suit, the garda sergeant spoke briefly during the proceedings yesterday saying "not guilty" when Judge Bridget Reilly asked him how he intended to plead to the three charges.

He also elected for a non-jury trial in the District Court.

Defence solicitor Sean Costello then asked the judge to consider setting separate trials in respect of each of the charges.

He argued that his client could be prejudiced as the evidence of one of the complainants could be corroborative to that of the other.


However, the State has resisted the application. The judge said she would give her decision today on the defence request for separate hearings.

When an outline of the allegations was given to the court on September 23, Garda Inspector James Flood had said that during the first incident the accused had been on duty when "the injured party was leaning over a desk".

"While she was doing this, it is alleged the accused pressed his pelvic area into her posterior and at the same time placed his hands on her hips and made a pumping motion saying she likes it this way," he had said.

About two-and-a-half months later, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted her again in an office in work.

The court heard it is alleged that: "The accused came up towards her and pressed his left hand to the side of her left breast while saying 'wake up'."

Two days before that, it is claimed he sexually assaulted the other female officer. She had leaned over to place an object in a locker when the defendant allegedly "grabbed the inside of her right upper thigh at the fleshy part at which she screamed".

"It is alleged the accused then said 'I'd say you are some screamer in bed'," Insp Flood also said in court.

Irish Independent

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