| 23.4°C Dublin

Gardaí cleared of wrongdoing in handling the first of two complaints by women against judge


Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

Gardaí who investigated sexual assault claims against a former judge have been cleared of any wrongdoing in their handling of the inquiry, the Irish Independent has learned.

However, the handling of a second Garda probe into allegations by another woman against the same ex-judge is still being considered by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).

The second woman alleged the judge inappropriately and repeatedly contacted her after she appeared in his court.

The two criminal complaints were made separately, and the two women have no connection with each other.

The judge involved is no longer serving on the bench.

However, both Garda investigations failed to result in a prosecution, leading to claims the inquiries were deficient.

According to their complaints, each woman first came into contact with the judge when they appeared in court for family law matters.

The first woman alleged the judge began to frequent a hotel where she regularly went for lunch.

She claimed that he subsequently sexually assaulted her twice after meeting her at a book launch in a different hotel. She maintains one of the assaults was captured on CCTV, but admits the picture quality was poor. A file was sent to the DPP, who found there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge.

The woman subsequently complained to Gsoc that the Garda investigation was deficient in a number of respects.

She alleged gardaí did not speak to the former judge for seven months and that her clothes, which were given to gardaí as evidence, were not properly stored.

The woman alleged the former judge was "a very dangerous man who should not be walking the streets" as he was "a danger to the public".

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

However, the Irish Independent has learned that in a decision communicated to the woman last December, Gsoc did not uphold her complaints.

The second woman also claimed her complaint to gardaí was not properly investigated. She said she believed the judge abused his power when he contacted her by text and phone after she appeared in court to seek a barring order against her husband.

According to the woman, the judge repeatedly expressed an interest in meeting her and told her in one phone call she looked very beautiful in court.

She claims she was not asked to provide a statement until three months after her initial complaint, and after a reporter submitted a query to the Garda press office.

The woman claims that a number of months later, she learned no further action was being taken.

Her subsequent complaint about the Garda investigation was examined by Gsoc and witnesses were identified and interviewed.

A report was completed by an investigating officer last October, but it is understood it has yet to be considered by the commission.

Most Watched