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Man accused of sex assault on off-duty garda officer in lift

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A male Garda was treated in hospital for injuries arising from the incident.

A male Garda was treated in hospital for injuries arising from the incident.

A male Garda was treated in hospital for injuries arising from the incident.

A MAN has been accused of sexually assaulting an off-duty garda in an apartment building in north Dublin.

The defendant (40) is alleged to have groped the male officer after following him into a lift at the complex.

The garda was "shocked" and immediately reported the incident, Dublin District Court heard.

The accused man is denying the charge, and Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin adjourned the case for hearing on a later date.

She refused to dismiss the charge after the defence argued that the man could not get a fair trial because video footage he took on his phone had been deleted.

The defendant is charged with one count of sexual assault on the officer, who is in his 20s, on January 6, 2013.

The charge is under Section 2 of the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act.

Outlining the State's case, the prosecuting garda said he received a complaint of sexual assault and arrived to see the two men standing on opposite sides of the road.

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The alleged victim said the defendant had followed him into the lift and proceeded to grab him by the testicles.

The defendant allegedly would not release his grip and the garda was shocked and did not know what to do.

He pushed the accused away from him and called the gardai.

It was one physical touch and the defendant eventually released his grip. The alleged victim did not require any treatment. When gardai arrived, he said he did not wish to make a complaint at that time.

The defendant told gardai he had video evidence on his mobile phone.

This was about 30 seconds long and showed the alleged victim walking down a corridor and the accused following him with the phone.

What happened in the lift was not visible on the footage, the prosecuting garda said.

The alleged victim told him the matter would go no further if it was deleted. The court heard the accused deleted it voluntarily and gardai believed it was of no evidential value.

The alleged victim said the following day that having "slept on it", he wished to make a complaint.

Seeking a dismissal, the defendant's barrister argued that he had been "irretrievably prejudiced" as a result of the deleted footage, which she said could have helped his case.

The prosecution did not believe there was any risk of an unfair trial.

Judge Ni Chonduin ruled that the accused had not been prejudiced and adjourned the case to a date in March.

hnews@herald.ie


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