A ROYAL Navy officer whose ship was on a goodwill visit to Cork has been charged with assaulting a garda.
Warrant Officer Robert Nixon (39) appeared before Cork District Court yesterday charged with assault causing harm to a female garda.
The court was told that Nixon of HMS Mersey is charged with assault causing harm to Garda Hilary Lynch and with engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour at Kennedy Quay, Cork in the early hours of September 1.
The court was told that after being arrested, cautioned and then charged, Nixon made no reply.
Yesterday, the court was told by the executive officer on HMS Mersey, Mathew Marriott, that Nixon has "22 years' distinguished service" in the Royal Navy.
He is currently assigned to HMS Mersey, which is a River-class offshore patrol vessel whose home port is Portsmouth. The vessel was commissioned in 2003. The 1,677 tonne vessel has a crew of almost 40.
HMS Mersey arrived in Cork two days ago as part of a goodwill visit. Executive Officer Marriott told the court that the defendant was "an honest and a decent man".
"I have served with him for two years and he has always been of good conduct," he said. The court was told by gardai that because of the serious nature of the charges the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further directions.
Gardai raised no objection to Nixon being granted bail.
He was granted bail and the matter was adjourned until October 20.