Saturday 7 December 2019

Garda raised concerns over teen assault probe

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

SERGEANT Maurice McCabe raised a series of concerns about what he described as a "shoddy" investigation into the alleged assault and false imprisonment of a teenage girl, according to the Guerin report.

The report sets out the details of a case involving a 17-year-old, who was allegedly assaulted by a man in September 2007 in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

The teenager had been walking home around 6am with two male friends. She told gardai they left her company not far from her home and she proceeded to walk the rest of the way.

However, she met a man coming towards her and later told gardai the man passed her, then doubled back and chased after her. The man is alleged to have put his hand over her mouth, but she managed to get away from him.

A suspect was later arrested in January 2008, but he was only held for a short period. He denied being involved and the teenage girl could not identify him when shown a photo.

However, the investigating garda maintained he remained the main suspect.

It was also recorded on the PULSE system that the culprit had been "detected".

Sgt McCabe contacted a superintendent and identified five issues of concern he had with the case.

An investigation of Sgt McCabe's complaints by Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne found many of his criticisms were founded.

An internal disciplinary inquiry was launched but later discontinued, and it was concluded the investigating garda had not breached discipline.

The Guerin report concluded there was cause for concern as to the adequacy of the investigation into Sgt McCabe's complaint.

Irish Independent

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