herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Garda barred from duty in grope probe

A GARDA sergeant who is facing allegations of groping two young female officers has finally been suspended from duty after the Herald exposed the shock revelations.

The middle-aged officer is facing three charges of sexually assaulting the two female gardai in a major south Dublin station last year.

When the shock allegations came to light, the sergeant was simply transferred to another south Dublin station but not suspended from duty.

The sergeant was confined to desk duties at the other station, which has one of the highest ratios of female officers in the entire country.

However, despite a massive probe into his alleged behaviour -- which included a number of reports of groping of probationary gardai aged in their 20s -- and the DPP deciding that he should be charged with three counts of sexual assault -- the sergeant continued to work.

But after the Herald revealed on Tuesday that the experienced garda was due to be charged at Dublin District Court, the sergeant was finally suspended.

"He received written notification from the Garda Commissioner on Tuesday evening that he is to be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of his court case," explained a source.

In June, a file on the case was sent to the DPP, who decided last month that the case should be prosecuted at District Court level.

The senior garda at the centre of the allegations has been a serving officer for over 20 years and has previously escaped serious sanction over a completely separate disciplinary matter.

The allegations centre on the sergeant's behaviour in a south Dublin station.

Three female probationary gardai aged in their 20s made complaints about alleged sexual assaults in the station to a chief superintendent.

The chief superintendent then appointed an inspector from outside the area where the alleged assaults happened who investigated the matter.

A detective inspector was then appointed to deal with the case. The detective inspector interviewed a number of witnesses.

In late June, a file on the case was sent to the DPP who decided late last month that the case should be prosecuted at District Court level.

The sergeant is due in court before the end of the month.

hnews@herald.ie

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