A garda officer has appeared before Dublin District Court after being charged with coercive control, sexual assault, assault causing harm and harassment of his former girlfriend which took place over a three-year period. He was arrested on Wednesday and detained at Lucan Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
The garda, aged in his 40s, faces 35 charges against him and is currently on suspension. After being remanded in custody with consent to bail, the woman told the bail application that she felt in danger, however, the judge stated that the garda, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is entitled to the presumption of innocence. As well as consent to bail, the garda was granted free legal aid at the court.
Detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation brought the garda officer before Dublin District Court where Inspector Cormac Brennan gave evidence of arrest. Inspector Brennan, who objected to bail, told the court that the garda replied with “no” when charged with coercive control and made no reply to the other 34 charges.
The woman, who also cannot be named, gave a statement that exceeded 250 pages which detailed the allegations against the accused. As well as being assaulted by her partner on a number of occasions, there were 65,000 messages left on the woman’s phone with a number of the contacts threatening her, according to Inspector Brennan. He also added that the woman is now at greater risk as a result of standing up for herself and stepping forward.
Solicitor Michael Kelleher called for bail to be granted and will dispute the allegations against the garda, who has no previous convictions, no history of drug abuse, and will not get a trial before 2023. He added that the court can imagine the difficulties he would have as a prisoner while being under no illusion of what a breach of bail means.
Judge Bryan Smyth stated that he was not satisfied that there was a case for refusing bail and remanded the accused in custody with consent to bail. The conditions of his bail are that he supplies his own bond of €500, an independent surety of €8,000 and refrains from the northside of Dublin.
He must also agree to have no contact with the woman, directly, indirectly or electronically, and that no one contacts her on his behalf. He will also have to sign in daily at his local garda station, cannot apply for a passport and must be on good behaviour. He will appear before Cloverhill District Court next Tuesday.