Wednesday 21 February 2018

Wife of man accused of assault made indecent assault complaint to gardai

Declan Brennan

THE wife of a man accused of assaulting his neighbor, who had allegedly groped her, went on to make a complaint of indecent assault to gardai.

Declan Berkely (45) of Berwick Grove, Swords Manor, Swords has pleaded not guilty to assault causing serious harm to Anthony McGann (54) at Ormond Avenue Swords on September 19, 2010.

Mr Berkely told gardai that he punched Mr McGann after he had grabbed the breasts of one woman and then grabbed his wife’s behind.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the group of neighbours had been walking home after spending the night together in their local pub.

After he was punched Mr McGann fell backwards and hit his head on the ground. The resulting injuries have left him suffering memory problems and epileptic flashbacks.

Detective Garda Gary McEntee told Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, that a file sent to the DPP in relation to the incident contained a complaint of indecent assault of Alison Berkely, the wife of the accused.

He said the file also contained a complaint of indecent assault of another woman, who had claimed Mr McGann touched her breasts after she slipped on the way home.

Det Gda McEntee told defence counsel that Mr Berkely came down to the garda station the day after the incident and gave a full account of what happened.

He said he then approached Mr McGann and his wife but they said they didn’t wish to make an official complaint. The court heard that Mr McGann did make a complaint to gardai in March 2011.

The detective garda agreed that the accused and his wife, the couple who were with them and the wife of the alleged victim were all respectable members of the local community.

The jury have previously heard evidence that Mr McGann still has trouble remembering events from the previous day and that he suffered “extreme” mood swings for a time after the incident.

Mr McGann has denied “talking dirty” to Ms Berkely, or putting his hands “between her legs on her private parts” and behaving aggressively afterwards.

Evidence has been heard that the accused told gardai that he punched the alleged victim after Mr McGann said “squeezy squeezy”, and “grabbed my wife’s arse in full view of me”.

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

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