herald

Monday 10 December 2018

Volunteer 'on food run' not guilty of abusing officer

Stock photo
Stock photo

A homelessness charity volunteer has been found not guilty of verbally abusing gardai after he was told to move his car from in front of Dublin's GPO.

Stephen Clifford (50) had been accused of causing a breach of the peace after gardai approached him when he parked his car while doing a "food run".

Judge Paula Murphy dismissed the case against him at Dublin District Court.

Mr Clifford, of Beau Park Terrace, Clongriffin, Dublin 13, pleaded not guilty to threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour.

The prosecuting garda said he was on duty at the GPO at 7.30pm last January 2.

He saw a silver Ford Focus parked on the footpath and informed Mr Clifford that it was not a designated parking space.

Arrest

He alleged Mr Clifford told him to "f**k off" and that he was on a food run.

He alleged Mr Clifford continued with this behaviour, got into his vehicle and moved away.

Some 20 minutes later, the garda met Mr Clifford again at Prince's Street, just around the corner.

He alleged he continued to be abusive and he decided to arrest him.

Footage of the encounter on Prince's Street was played to the court, in which the garda was seen arresting Mr Clifford.

Mr Clifford's lawyer argued there was no evidence of any breach of the peace in this footage and the charge related to Prince's Street and not the GPO.

Judge Murphy dismissed the charge.

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