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Trial for garda accused of attack

A GARDA accused of assaulting a homeless man who later died is to stand trial next year.

Brendan Whitty, who is attached to Kevin Street Garda Station, has had a date set for his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Garda Whitty is accused of assault causing harm to Keith Murphy (32) at Thomas Street in the south inner city in an incident two years ago.

The assault is alleged to have happened on September 20, 2007. Mr Murphy died later that day.

Mr Murphy, of no fixed abode, was found near Christchurch Cathedral and died later at St James's Hospital.

Garda Whitty's case had been sent forward last year from Dublin District Court, where he first appeared after being summonsed by the DPP at the suit of the Garda Ombudsman.

At the Circuit Court yesterday, Judge Katherine Delahunt set a date for the trial to start on January 31, 2011. The case is expected to take between three and four days to be tried.

The accused was remanded on continuing bail until the trial begins.

A spokesperson for the Garda Ombudsman Commission has already stated that the prosecution which the garda faces arises from the arrest of Mr Murphy earlier in the day, and not from his subsequent death.