Saturday 19 October 2019

Garda sergeant still on full pay, six months after she was jailed

Eve Doherty, who is serving three years in prison. Photo: Collins
Eve Doherty, who is serving three years in prison. Photo: Collins
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

A garda sergeant who was jailed for sending abusive letters is in prison on full pay.

Eve Doherty was sentenced to three years in January for harassing a solicitor who works with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Yet the former detective has been allowed to draw down her monthly salary because she remains suspended on full pay, according to sources.

The annual salary for a sergeant starts at €49,242 and rises to €55,902 after 12 years.

That means that the detective sergeant is still entitled to draw a monthly after-tax pay cheque of at least €2,000 a month.

As a convicted prisoner, all her overheads are picked up by the taxpayer.

Elizabeth Howlin, solicitor with the DPP
Elizabeth Howlin, solicitor with the DPP

Doherty's trial was told that she was suspended from An Garda Siochana after her arrest but was still a serving member of the force.

This weekend, an informed source said that continues to be the situation, pending an appeal of her case.

Doherty (50) was a sergeant in crime and security when she began harassing Elizabeth Howlin over an 18-month period.

The court heard that Ms Howlin didn't know Eve Doherty but the garda was in a relationship with her ex-partner.

Doherty sent letters and emails to Ms Howlin's home and work, and to her GP, calling her "incompetent", "a two-faced bitch" and other insults that the trial judge called "outright and scurrilous lies".

Doherty, who is from Dublin, also distributed leaflets around Ms Howlin's housing estate, falsely claiming she was a political appointee.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that Doherty showed no remorse for the crimes and still maintained her innocence.

Doherty's defence counsel said she had risen through the ranks to the level of detective sergeant, a career she found rewarding and enriching.

The work environment was difficult, and she'd had some fractious relationships.

A psychological report found that she suffered from severe work-related stress, depression, anxiety, paranoia and suicidal ideation.

Doherty, who lived at Blackglen Road, Sandyford, Dublin, was found guilty by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of harassing Elizabeth Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013 following a two-week trial last year.

A statement from the Garda press office said: "An Garda Siochana does not comment on matters of internal discipline."

Doherty is one of two gardai to be handed down prison terms this year.

Another garda, Jimell Henry, was sentenced to three years in prison, with the final 18 months suspended, for passing information on to criminals.

Henry (36), from Sligo pleaded guilty to the charges.

Sunday Independent

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