herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Garda's wife reported g-string in post to GSOC

PHONE records show a Dublin woman was in contact with a detective garda when she allegedly posted a Valentine's card containing a g-string and a bullet to one of the officer's colleagues, a court has heard.

Julie Conway Browning (49), from Dermot O'Dwyer House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to giving information she knew to be false or misleading to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

It was day two of her trial at Dublin District Court, which has heard claims of bullying and harassment in the serious crime team, a section of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), based in Harcourt Square, in the capital.

The defence is also seeking to have the woman's case thrown out claiming that a complaint was received too late by GSOC. The case was adjourned for four weeks, when a ruling will be made as to whether or not the trial will continue.

Judge Bryan Smyth has heard evidence that a complaint had been made to GSOC on August 14, 2011, from the wife of Det Sergeant Michael Buckley of the serious crime review team.

Bullying

She told GSOC her husband has been subjected to "harassment and bullying" by two named colleagues including a Det Gda David O'Brien.

She alleged that in February 2011, her husband "received an envelope, it contained a Valentines card".

Inside the card was poem of a "graphic sexual nature" as well as a "black and red g-string and a .22 calibre bullet". Mrs Buckley told GSOC that she feared for her family's safety.

When questioned by a GSOC investigator, both Ms Conway Browning, who had been identified as the sender, and Det Gda O'Brien stated they had not seen each other since the 1990s.

Ms Conway Browning (inset, right) agreed she had sent the poem and the g-string for a laugh but claimed she did not put a bullet in the envelope. No DNA traces or fingerprints were found on the bullet when it was examined.

GSOC analyst Angela Murray told the court that communication data showed that from February 1, 2011 until March 26 that year, the accused and Det Gda O'Brien had contacted one and other's mobile phones on 291 occasions, by texts or calls.

Yesterday she continued giving evidence detailing the pattern of communication traffic between the two phones. She also said that on February 12, the day the card was posted, there had been several texts as well as calls including one which lasted seven minutes and 39 seconds.

She told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that there was a text message sent from the defendant's number to his phone at about 11.56am, the card had been sent around midday, and there was "a still image from CCTV in the post office."

In the trawl of the communications data, it was also claimed by the GSOC analyst that the two phones had contacted each other on the same day that the Ms Conway Browning phoned Det Chief Superintendent Padraig Kennedy of the NBCI, on February 28, 2011

She had contacted the superintendent directly and via a lawyer to complain about a conversation she had with Det Sgt Buckley.

Claim

Det Chief Superintendent Padraig Kennedy had told the court that the woman claimed to him that Det Sgt Buckley had been "arrogant and gave abuse to Ms Conway over the phone".

She had also told the superintendent that she rang Det Sgt Buckley after two gardai had called to her home looking for her but she was out at the time.

Afterwards the superintendent spoke to the detective sergeant who told him about the items he received in the post.

hnews@herald.ie

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