Thursday 26 April 2018

Woman in GSOC case changes plea for a second time

Andrew Phelan

A DUBLIN woman who had admitted making a false statement to GSOC in the course of an investigation has changed her plea back to not guilty.

Julie Browning had the case against her adjourned again at Dublin District Court after changing her plea for a second time.

Ms Browning is now denying a charge of giving information that was false or misleading to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission at its headquarters in 2012.

The accused, from Dermot O'Dwyer House, Hardwicke Street is charged with an offence under Section 110 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005.

The charge states that she provided information that she knew to be false or misleading to GSOC at its office on Abbey Street on a date in October 2012. This was in relation to a complaint or investigation.

Browning had initially entered a not guilty plea and had a date set for a trial at the non-jury District Court. Then, last March she changed that plea to guilty. The prosecution had been unable to proceed on that date and the case was adjourned to today for the facts to be heard.

However, when it was called before Judge Michael Walsh today, Defence Solicitor Michael Hanahoe said the accused was now "seeking a date for hearing" - meaning that she is pleading not guilty again.

State Solicitor Michael Durkan said a co-accused was due before the court on a date next month.

Judge Walsh adjourned Ms Browning's case to the same date in May, for mention, to set a date for the hearing.

Ms Browning, wearing a black leather jacket, black skirt and boots, came forward when called and did not address the court during the brief proceedings.

None of the circumstances of the case have yet been disclosed.

The co-accused, Det Gda David O'Brien, a serving member of the gardai, is also facing the same charge and is also pleading not guilty.

Ms Browning covered her face with a scarf on leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice, surrounded by friends, one of whom wore a wolf mask.

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