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Friday 20 April 2018

Harassment trial garda 'wore wig to send email'

Eve Doherty denies harassing solicitor Elizabeth Howlin
Eve Doherty denies harassing solicitor Elizabeth Howlin

A garda on trial for harassing a state solicitor wore a wig and sunglasses while sending an anonymous email from a city centre internet cafe, a court has heard.

Eve Doherty (49), a garda based in Dublin, denies harassing Elizabeth Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013.

She also denies making false statements on two dates in March 2013 claiming Ms Howlin was perverting the course of justice.

Ms Howlin worked as a directing officer with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and was involved in deciding whether to direct prosecutions in criminal cases.

Over an 18-month period, letters and emails were sent to Ms Howlin's home, her place of work and to her GP, calling her a "corrupt b***h" and an "incompetent useless hobbit".

The material, which included leaflets left around her housing estate, falsely claimed that Ms Howlin was a political appointee and would "pull" files to prevent the prosecution of anyone connected to her or the Government.

Ms Howlin is a distant cousin of TD Brendan Howlin.

The jury in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial has previously heard technical evidence that some of the emails came from Hushmail email addresses sent using IP addresses linked to the Wired internet cafe business on Aungier Street.

On day nine of the trial yesterday, gardai gave evidence of following Ms Doherty from the Wired cafe to a house in a south Dublin estate on September 28, 2013.

Michael O'Higgins, defending, told the jury that Ms Doherty accepts she was wearing black sunglasses and a black wig while using a computer in the internet cafe and on her journey home.

Software

The owner of the business testified that he had software which he could use to view the screen of customer's computers.

Using this programme, he said he noted that Ms Doherty was using an email account named "Michael Mullen at Hushmail.com" to send an email entitled "Corrupt garda commissioner needs investigating immediately".

He also wrote down the email recipients. These included email addresses at the Courts Service, the Financial Ombudsman and the Ombudsman.

Mr O'Higgins said Ms Doherty's position was that she did not write the original document, but it had been sent to her and she had added to it before emailing it on to the named recipients.

The trial continues.

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