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Sunday 22 October 2017

Garda's not guilty plea over 'assault' on RTE man

Garda Sean Lucey
Garda Sean Lucey

A garda has been sent for trial after pleading not guilty to attacking an RTE cameraman at a violent protest in Dublin.

Garda Sean Lucey denies assaulting and injuring Colm Hand, who was filming while protesters were being baton-charged.

He also denies damaging Mr Hand's camera in clashes during a demo against the launch of the Irish branch of anti-Islamic group Pegida.

Gda Lucey, based in Crumlin Station, is accused of assault causing harm and criminal damage at the junction of O'Connell Street and Cathedral Street on February 6, 2016.

Defence solicitor Liz Hughes revealed Gda Lucey's plea at Dublin District Court yesterday.

The case will now go before a judge and jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A State solicitor said the DPP accepted this and a book of evidence was ready. It was served on Gda Lucey after he stepped forward from the back of the court.

Novel

The State solicitor said the accused could be sent to the next sittings of the circuit court for trial on both charges.

Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and blue tie, Gda Lucey stepped forward again and Judge Michael Walsh told him the case would be listed in Court Number 5 in the Criminal Courts of Justice on October 27.

"You will appear in the list of cases and a date will be assigned to the case in due course," said Judge Walsh.

RTE Cameraman Colm Hand
RTE Cameraman Colm Hand

He then gave the accused formal notice that he must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days.

When asked if he understood, Gda Lucey said: "Yes, judge."

Ms Hughes applied for legal aid, handing a statement of the defendant's financial means to court.

Judge Walsh granted aid, saying he was taking into account the serious nature of the charges, the complexity of the case, the time involved and the fact that it was "somewhat novel".

Gda Lucey was remanded on bail in a nominal bond of €200. He left the courtroom after signing the bail bond.

Mr Hand - who attended hospital following the incident and suffered bruising to his groin - was present, accompanied by his wife, RTE reporter Laura Whelan. He was not required to address the court.

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