a WITNESS has claimed he was wrestled to the ground and struck in the face by two off-duty gardai when they could not find prostitutes while on a Christmas party night out.
James Morrison (22) was giving evidence at Limerick District Court in the case of two officers accused of assaulting him and his brother outside a pub in Limerick city last year.
David Naughton (33), with an address in Lucan, and Wesley Kenny (33), of Sandyford, both Dublin, and both based at garda stations in the capital, deny assaulting Luke Morrison and his brother James Morrison (19) at Catherine Street, Limerick, last December 5.
Luke Morrison told the court the officers tried to force their way into his home in Upper Cecil Street, Limerick, and later assaulted him and his brother after asking where they could find prostitutes.
In his evidence yesterday, James Morrison recalled meeting the accused men as he was walking with his brother to a fast food outlet. He said they were walking by the side of Jerry Flannery's bar in Catherine Street when they were stopped by the officers who explained why they had earlier tried to gain access to his brother's house.
"They said it was a complete misunderstanding and they were only looking for 'brazzers' or women," he told the court.
The witness said he told the defendants they could find prostitutes another block up the road, adding: "They seemed to get aggressive that they couldn't find any."
He recalled in his evidence "being wrestled to the ground" and being struck in the face and the side of the head.
Mr Morrison said he was hit a couple of times before the accused men identified themselves as gardai.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel Breffni Gordon, James Morrison admitted he had warned the officers "there was a car load of his friends coming", but claimed he was only bluffing.
He denied he had a knife behind his back and said he would "never bluff about a weapon".
Gda Kieran Curtin said that when he arrived at the scene, a male told him that the Morrison brothers had attacked the defendants with a machete and this had led to the dispute.
He said he separated the parties and David Naughton told him Luke Morrison had a weapon.
He said he searched the 19-year-old but did not find a weapon.
Gda Curtin said he offered everyone present on the night the opportunity to make a statement of complaint but the defendants declined.
The case is continuing at Limerick District Court before Judge Grainne O'Neill.