| 15.8°C Dublin

Man denies sex act on garda during arrest

A DUBLIN man has denied subjecting a young garda to a "degrading" sex act as she tried to arrest him while a public order disturbance escalated out of control.

James Colmey (35) allegedly rubbed himself up against the officer and made a lewd remark as she tried to arrest him on her own in a confrontation on a south Dublin street.

The garda feared for her safety as she was surrounded by an "angry mob" of up to 15 people while she waited for backup.

She was later temporarily blinded by pepper spray that accidentally hit her when a colleague used it to subdue one of the crowd.

Mr Colmey is one of five people denying charges in connection with the incident in Bluebell in 2009. The five had their cases adjourned after a three-day hearing at Dublin District Court.

Colmey, of Huband Road, Bluebell has pleaded not guilty to common assault on the garda, obstruction, failing to stop a vehicle and breach of the peace. No sexual assault charge was brought in the case.

Facing public order charges arising from the incident are his then partner, Elaine Phillips (36), and his sister Emily Colmey (40), of Huband Road, as well as Colmey's nephews, Alan Behan (19) and Jamie Behan (21) of Ben Madigan Road, Drimnagh.

They are all denying obstructing gardai in the incident on October 16, 2009. Each co-accused is also denying breach of the peace, except Emily Colmey who has had that charge against her dismissed.

Ms Phillips's father Patrick Phillips (69) has been acquitted of both public order charges.

Judge Catherine Murphy adjourned the case to today for closing submissions by the prosecution and defence and a decision on all remaining charges.

The case was due to conclude today.

aphelan@herald.ie