Pals deny holding man in car for 'search' while impersonating gardai
Two friends were accused of impersonating gardai after a video of them holding a man in a car for a bogus drugs search popped up on a serving officer's Facebook news feed, a court has heard.
The garda sergeant investigated the video after he was alerted to it on his own page on the social media site.
It is alleged that Dean Parkes (23) filmed the video from the passenger seat of the car while Corrie Grimes (20) was driving.
According to the prosecution, the pair had picked up a man in the north inner city, told him he was under arrest and "interrogated" him before dropping him off on a nearby street.
Mr Parkes allegedly then uploaded the video to his Facebook public profile.
The accused are both charged with falsely imprisoning Darren Osborne and making a statement or committing an act to suggest they were gardai.
The offences are alleged to have happened at Sheriff Street on December 20, 2015.
Mr Grimes, of Ferryman's Crossing, Dublin, and Mr Parkes, of Montpelier Park, Dublin, both deny the charges.
Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned the case for continued hearing on a later date.
Sgt John Egan told Dublin District Court that the video appeared on his own Facebook news feed. When he clicked on it, it came up on the account of a Dean Parkes.
The video purported to show two men impersonating gardai, telling a man that he was being subjected to a drugs search and was being taken to Store Street Garda Station, Sgt Egan said.
He downloaded it and gave a DVD to another garda to identify the people in the video.
The homes of the accused were searched and Mr Parkes was arrested. Mr Grimes later presented himself at a garda station.
In cross-examination, Sgt Egan accepted there could be another Dean Parkes.
Mr Parkes' face was not visible in the video, but Sgt Egan said he recognised the voice.
Mr Parkes' barrister said the video was not dated and there was no data to say who had created it.
Gda Adrian Buckley said Mr Grimes was identified to him from the video by Gda Shona Moran.
The court heard the men in the video had no uniforms on and there was no garda "paraphernalia" in the car.
They told Mr Osborne they were taking him to Store Street Garda Station, Gda Buckley said.
Mr Parkes had told gardai in an interview that he recorded the video and uploaded it.
He said it was "between the three of them as a joke" and that he pretended to the man he was a garda "to f**k with him or something".
He agreed in the interview that the aim was to "see how easy it was for gardai to get information" out of someone.
"The fella knows we were messing," he said in the interview.
Barristers for both accused objected to the video being admitted to the court in evidence.
The judge said he would allow the video evidence in Mr Parkes' case as he was accepting that his memo of interview authenticated the video.
However, he has not yet decided if the video can be used in the case against Mr Grimes.