herald

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Garda 'did not access smear pic', court hears

Eve Doherty
Eve Doherty

A garda accused of harassing a State solicitor could not be linked by any computer she used to a photograph of the victim used on abusive posters, a jury has heard.

Eve Doherty (49), a garda based in Dublin, denies harassing Elizabeth Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013 and making false statements claiming Ms Howlin was perverting the course of justice.

On day three of the trial, former Detective Inspector Martin Cummins, now retired, showed the jury a poster that had photographs of Ms Howlin and Brendan Howlin TD, a distant cousin, printed on them.

The jury has heard that the posters had been left on cars around Ms Howlin's estate in Blackrock, south Co Dublin.

Dealers

The leaflet falsely stated that Ms Howlin was a corrupt State solicitor and had interfered in the prosecution of a local family of "drug dealers".

The court heard that the photo of Ms Howlin used in the posters had been taken in 2007 during a meeting between a committee within the Department of Justice and Brian Lenihan, who had recently been appointed the minister for that department.

The photo of Ms Howlin was uploaded to a website called criminalcode.ie, and the photo could only have been obtained from that website, Mr Cummins told Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting.

The former detective said he obtained a list of IP addresses that had visited the website.

Michael O'Higgins, defending, asked Mr Cummins if any computer connected to Ms Doherty was on that list. Mr Cummins told him that was not the case.

Garda Sergeant Michael McCarthy said he had reviewed CCTV footage of the road where the posters were displayed but was unable to identify anyone as the footage was shot in darkness.

The trial continues tomorrow before Judge Melanie Greally and a jury.

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