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No charge for sacked garda over car crash

A former garda who was sacked from the force after he was allegedly caught with €800 worth of cocaine will not face charges in relation to a car crash that happened in Lucan over two years ago, it has emerged in court.

A file relating to a garda investigation into a car accident involving disgraced former Garda Stephen Cooper is to be made available under court order after the DPP decided that Mr Cooper has no case to answer in relation to the car crash.

Mr Cooper alleges his back was injured when a car owned by Tony Luptan, of Latchford Green, Clonee, Co Dublin, crashed into the BMW in which the then Garda Cooper was a passenger.



stolen

Mr Cooper (27), of Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, Dublin, alleges that the unidentified and untraced driver of Mr Lupton's car, which Mr Lupton claims had been stolen from him, had immediately fled the crash scene at Clonee Road, Lucan, at 1.30am on March 4, 2010.

He is seeking €38,000 in damages from the MIBI and car owner Mr Lupton.

Mr Cooper was sacked from the gardai last August, having previously been based at Sundrive Road Garda Station where he had been suspended from duty since he was arrested allegedly buying cocaine in a sting operation by undercover officers in January of last year.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan wrote to Mr Cooper stating that he had lost confidence in his ability to carry out his functions as a garda and asked for reasons why he should not be dismissed.

It is understood Mr Cooper did not reply to this letter and he learnt of his dismissal in early August.

A file on the cocaine incident has been sent to the DPP who will make a decision on whether Mr Cooper will be charged in relation to the drugs bust.

In the aftermath of his arrest, Mr Cooper received two months in-house medical care at a residential treatment centre for drug addiction.

The garda -- whose dad Robert was a highly respected detective sergeant in the Ronanstown Garda Station drugs unit before he retired -- was arrested following a sting operation in which he was discovered in possession of 10 grammes of cocaine with a street value of around €800.

A surveillance operation had been mounted for weeks before the arrest in Dublin city centre after Mr Cooper was seen in the company of criminals and senior officers became suspicious of his behaviour.



DEALER

When the officer met a known drug dealer on Ormond Quay on January 31 -- close to an early house pub where the garda and some of his colleagues were drinking -- they were both arrested as soon as detectives saw that a drugs transaction had taken place.

After being arrested, the officer was questioned for 24 hours under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act at Kevin Street Garda Station before being released without charge.

Separately, the Herald has learnt that Mr Cooper is also under investigation after a drugs bust at the Electric Festival music festival in Stradbally, Co Laois, in September 2009.

kfoy@herald.ie


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