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Gardai 'attacked man as he slept'

A mother was locked in a bathroom while her son was beaten by four gardai who attacked him as he slept in bed, a court heard today.

Owen Gaffney needed hospital treatment after he was hit with batons and kicked and punched by officers who forced their way into his Dublin home, it was claimed.

Four gardai - Alan Conlon, Claire Delaney, Eoin Murtagh and Sean O'Leary - are on trial accused of assault causing harm to Gaffney, as well as forcible entry and trespass at the family home in the south inner city on February 17 2008.

Conlon, Delaney and Murtagh are also accused of the false imprisonment of Gaffney's mother Fidelma in a bathroom of her Basin Street flat.

They have pleaded not guilty to each of the charges.

Opening the case for the prosecution at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Tom O'Connell, Senior Counsel, told the jury the case was about members of An Garda Siochana acting unlawfully.

He said it was the prosecution's case that the gardai arrived in numbers without a search or arrest warrant and forced their way in to Gaffney's flat.

He claimed Gaffney was kicked and punched by all four gardai and beaten with a baton by O'Leary and Murtagh.

"In the course of the assault on Owen Gaffney, his mother was in there in the beginning of the assault and then she was forcibly taken from the bedroom and she was put in the bathroom and the door was held shut by various members," he added.

Three of the gardai - Delaney, Murtagh and O'Leary - were stationed in Kilmainham at the time. Conlon was stationed at Kevin Street station.

© Press Association