Gardai accused of savage attack on man in his home
A MAN who claims he was assaulted by two gardai told a court he thought he was going to die during the incident.
The two gardai had let themselves into his home in the middle of the night and then attacked him when he confronted them, William Shiels told the court yesterday.
The court heard the evidence at the start of the trial of Sergeant Michael Jordan and Garda Alan Coates, who are based at Ashbourne Garda Station and have pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Shiels causing him harm at Tara Lawns, Ashbourne in April 2009.
Trim Circuit Court heard a number of gardai had called to Mr Shiels' home at about 11.30pm to arrest another man in connection with an assault on a woman in a nearby laneway.
Mr Shiels said he had initially refused to let them in as they said they had no warrant but after he had spoken to the other man, he invited them in and asked them to arrest the man which they did.
He said that around midnight he was upstairs lying on a bed watching TV when he heard 'an unmerciful bang' at the front door and went down to investigate.
He told prosecuting counsel Paul Greene that Sgt Jordan and Garda Coates, who were standing in the hallway, ran up the stairs, grabbed him by the arms, dragged him down to the hall and beat him.
He claimed that Sgt Jordan had kicked and punched him for about 10 to 15 minutes while Garda Coates held him down.
He said that during the incident, the Sgt Jordan said, "Do you realise that a woman was raped in Ashbourne this night?"
He said the gardai left the house after the beating and he had walked to Ashbourne Garda Station at 1am to report the incident.
"I was in terrible shock, the right side of my face was very sore, there were marks to my face, there was grazing on it and blood coming from it. I got a lift to my girlfriend's house in Blanchardstown and she took me to hospital where I was treated," he said.
Later that day he made a complaint to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission and following an investigation by the GSOC the matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Cross-examined by Padraig Dywer, Mr Shiels denied being unco-operative with the gardai who had first called to arrest the other man.
He also denied that on the second visit his door had been open and that the gardai had announced their presence.
He also denied that he had come down the stairs in an agitated and aggressive manner before kneeing the sergeant in the groin and pushing him.
He further denied that the gardai had been trying to restrain him and that they had been telling him to calm down as they wanted to make enquiries into an attack on a woman in the town.
The trial continues today.