herald

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Erotic masseuse denies setting her dog on undercover garda who was then bitten on the leg

Cristina Cristian denies setting her dog on undercover garda
Cristina Cristian denies setting her dog on undercover garda

An erotic masseuse has been accused of setting her dog on an undercover garda who was on a "mission of mercy" to try to find out if she had been trafficked.

Cristina Cristian is alleged to have assaulted the officer by unleashing her border collie Todd, which bit him on the leg.

Garda Andrew O'Sullivan had called at her home posing as a client after answering an ad on an escorts' website, as part of an operation investigating human trafficking.

Ms Cristian denied assault, insisting she thought Gda O'Sullivan was a robber and that the dog escaped from her bathroom while she was getting her phone.

Judge Bernadette Owens deferred a decision after a trial at Dublin District Court.

Website

Gda O'Sullivan said he phoned a number listed on the Escorts Ireland website and spoke to a girl called "Jessica".

He arranged to meet her at her flat at Lower Rathmines Road on December 20, 2016. When he knocked, Ms Cristian's girlfriend Elena Amuzan invited him in, he said.

"I asked 'are you Jessica?' and she said 'no, Jessica is my flatmate who lives upstairs'," Gda O'Sullivan told the court.

He said he produced his badge and identified himself. He alleged Ms Amuzan pushed him and shouted: "Garda."

He said he had his hands out to protect himself and told Ms Amuzan she was not in trouble or being arrested.

He said Ms Cristian appeared at the top of the stairs, disappeared and reappeared with a dog, which she had by the collar. She was shouting at the dog in another language, pointing at gardai, he said.

The dog was getting "frenzied" and it looked like Ms Cristian then released it. The dog ran down the stairs and bit Gda O'Sullivan on the rear of his right thigh.

It continued to act in a "wild and feral" manner before one of the women took it back up.

In cross-examination, Gda O'Sullivan told defence solicitor Colleen Gildernew his enquiries were intended to help victims of human trafficking. He denied assaulting Ms Amuzan.

Garda Colleen Clarke said she was also there, and said: "We are garda, police."

The court heard in her garda interview, Ms Cristian was asked if she was a prostitute, and replied: "I make money doing erotic massage. I don't do it because I want to, I don't do it because someone forced me, I have to eat and I have to pay rent."

Robbed

Both she and Ms Amuzan said in evidence they did not know who the gardai were and did not hear them identify themselves.

They alleged Gda O'Sullivan had Ms Amuzan on the ground with her arm behind her back.

Ms Cristian said she was scared when she saw this, thought they were being robbed and opened the bathroom to get her phone to call Ms Amuzan's parents. The dog had been locked inside and she did not realise it had got out. She said she only called out in Romanian for the dog to come back.

"My dog is just trained to give a handshake and a kiss," she said, crying.

Garda Sergeant Mark Cribben said the dog had bitten everyone in the pound who had dealt with it. A dog warden said the dog was the biggest collie he had ever seen and it took two grown men to control it.

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