herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Garda sergeant faces sack after sexual assault

A GARDA sergeant is facing the sack after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a female colleague while on duty at a Dublin garda station.

The veteran officer, who is in his 40s and had an "unblemished record", had pleaded not guilty at Dublin District Court to two counts of sexually assaulting his colleague, who was then on her first garda station posting, on dates in March and June 2010.

Reporting restrictions were imposed earlier to prevent the identification of the complainant. This included an order prohibiting publication of the defendant's name, place of work and where the incidents allegedly occurred.

During the non-jury trial yesterday, now retired Garda Inspector James Flood told Judge Bridget Reilly that he investigated the claims and the defendant's attitude was "it never took place, he denied both allegations".

In evidence, the complainant, said the first incident happened when she had been on duty and received a call from a member of the public seeking garda assistance. She went to the command and control room in the station to enter the call details into the garda computer system.

Pushed

She leaned over to use the computer keyboard when the defendant entered the room to use a radio communications set. She claimed her superior was behind her and then put his arms around her waist and pushed his pelvic area against her bottom and said 'she likes it this way'."

Two other colleagues were sitting at desks either side of them while this happened.

"I froze, I then just walked out," she said, adding that she felt embarrassed and dirty and that "I was terrified of him". She went to the toilets to have a cry before resuming her work.

The officer also testified that on a date in June 2010, she had been on duty at her station reading files and going through paperwork. "He came over and put his hand to my left breast and said 'wake up there'," she said, "I replied 'I am not asleep'."

Judge Reilly held that in each instance the garda sergeant had deliberately touched the victim and found him guilty on the two charges. Judge Reilly adjourned the case until March 16 to consider sentencing.

hnews@herald.ie

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