Thursday 27 October 2016

Sergeant labelled 'lying' and 'corrupt' in abuse, court told

Sean Carraher denies claims Picture: Collins
Sean Carraher denies claims Picture: Collins

A man has gone on trial acc-used of harassing a garda sergeant by phoning him and posting online messages calling him "lying" and "corrupt".

Sean Carraher (55), of Stradbrook Hill, Blackrock, has pleaded not guilty to harassing Sgt Conor Gilmartin between March 2009 and May 2011.

In Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, prosecution barrister James Dwyer said Mr Carraher made repeated phone calls to Sgt Gilmartin and posted messages on websites.

Mr Dwyer said that when Mr Carraher was interviewed by gardai, he "fully admitted he posted the messages".

"Simply posting opinions on the internet is fine," said Mr Dwyer, "but if it amounts to goading, that is not covered by a right to freedom of expression."

The jury of seven men and five women were told that in order to prove a case of harass- ment, they would have to find there was "an intent or a reckless act on the part of Sean Carraher to cause alarm, distress or harm".

Sgt Gilmartin said he first came into contact with Mr Carraher in 2007 when he was arrested and taken to Shankill garda station in relation to an unrelated matter.

The sergeant said Mr Carraher subsequently made an allegation against a family member, which was investigated by gardai. Mr Carraher also made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman in relation to Sgt Gilmartin.

The officer said he began getting calls from Mr Carraher in March 2009. In one, he allegedly said: "I'm going to expose you and the rest of you lying b******s in that f***ing station."

The court heard details of dozens of messages posted on a number of websites.


One read: "Garda Sergeant Conor Gilmartin, are you starting to have regrets lying about me ... if you have children they will read all about this one day."

Sgt Gilmartin said none of the allegations made against him online were true.

Damien Colgan, defending, put it to Sgt Gilmartin that on one occasion when Mr Carraher was in custody for an unrelated matter, he shouted at him and called him a "fool".

Sgt Gilmartin denied the allegations. The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan.

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