De­fen­dant and Garda ‘had his­tory’

CHARGES CON­TESTED BY AC­CUSED

Bray People - - NEWS -

RICHARD O’CAR­ROLL (43) from 40 Gilt­spur Heights in Bray ap­peared in Bray District Court last week to con­test an ac­cu­sa­tion of threat­en­ing and abu­sive be­hav­iour as well as ob­struc­tion of a Garda in the course of his duty.

Garda John O’Reilly said that at 9.25 a.m. on Jan­uary 15 he was on mo­bile pa­trol at Gilt­spur Heights. He saw a lone male with his hood pulled up over his head. He said the man was root­ing in his right-hand pocket with both hands and he be­lieved the man was in pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled drug.

‘As I drove close, he turned around and faced the pa­trol car. At that point I iden­ti­fied the man to be Richard O’Car­roll,’ said Garda O’Reilly. ‘I alighted from the pa­trol car. He looked at me, I looked at him. I shouted ‘ Gar­dai’, and not to move, that I wanted to search him.’

Garda O’Reilly said that O’Car­roll turned and be­gan to climb a rail­ing. ’He flung him­self over in at­tempt to evade gar­dai and was sprint­ing down the grass em­bank­ment to the South­ern Cross. He al­most caused a col­li­sion with a truck. He ran straight out in front of traf­fic.’

Garda O’Reilly said that he lost sight of O’Car­roll while he climbed the fence and when he saw him again he was mov­ing at a more re­laxed pace.

‘I shouted stop again and he shouted “f **k off O’Reilly, you f ***ing scum­bag. You’ll never find It, you f ***ing scum­bag,”’ said Garda O’Reilly, adding that there were mem­bers of the pub­lic present. At that point he ar­rested him.

In cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, so­lic­i­tor Brendan Maloney put it to the garda that O’Car­roll had ex­plained his ac­tiv­ity af­ter be­ing charged with the words ‘ I had al­ready crossed onto the side of the fence. I was pro­ceed­ing to cross the road to get my child’s lunch. I kept go­ing as I had trou­ble with him be­fore. I didn’t do any­thing wrong. I wasn’t shout­ing abuse to any­one, in any way shape or form. I was on the way to get my child’s lunch at half nine in the morn­ing. She has Downs Syn­drome.’ Garda O’Reilly ac­cepted that.

Mr. Maloney also put it to Garda O’Reilly that he has ‘ a long-stand­ing per­sonal bat­tle with Mr. O’Car­roll,’ cit­ing nu­mer­ous cases of ar­rests, searches and a charge of threat to kill which was re­duced in the Cir­cuit Court to threat­en­ing be­hav­iour and for which O’Car­roll re­ceived a sus­pended sen­tence the day be­fore this in­ci­dent.

Mr. Maloney held up an en­ve­lope which he said was a sum­mons which was served to O’Car­roll with a smi­ley face on it. ‘I can as­sure you Judge, that was not on the let­ter,’ said Garda O’Reilly.

A woman in the court­room called out ‘ex­cuse me, I seen it!’ Mr. Maloney also al­leged that Garda O’Reilly had said ‘ the worst is yet to come,’ at the door to a Stephanie O’Car­roll.

‘ You have a sorry his­tory, with en­counter af­ter en­counter. You have a prob­lem with Mr. O’Car­roll,’ Mr. Maloney said to the Garda.

‘ This is en­tirely in­cor­rect,’ said Garda O’Reilly. ‘ I have no prob­lem with Mr. O’Car­roll. I treat him like any other mem­ber of the pub­lic.

‘ There are other people I deal with on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.’

Mr. Maloney said that while an ap­pli­ca­tion had been made for a war­rant for O’Car­roll on a pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sion this had never ac­tu­ally been is­sued. He said his client would say that Garda O’Reilly shouted ‘war­rant’ to which O’Car­roll replied ‘ there is none,’ and went on his way.

Garda O’Reilly dis­missed that. He also said that it wasn’t the only es­tate he went to that morn­ing.

Mr. Maloney called Garda O’Reilly’s ver­sion of events ‘a fic­tion.’

‘You couldn’t pos­si­bly have lost sight of him. Your adren­a­line was pump­ing. You were in hot pur­suit in open ter­rain. Just be­cause it’s in your note­book doesn’t make it true,’ he said.

Mr. Maloney said that the ar­rest was un­law­ful as Garda O’Reilly’s de­ci­sion to in­voke the mis­use of drugs act power to search did not reach the re­quired grounds.

He said that the power to search is an im­por­tant power in a garda’s ar­moury and in terms of a cit­i­zen’s rights it must be done cor­rectly. There must be rea­son­able sus­pi­cion, they must be in­formed that they will be searched and warned of the po­ten­tial sanc­tions.

In­spec­tor Tom Fin­nerty said that Garda O’Reilly had given ev­i­dence of rea­son­able sus­pi­cion, and that he had stated cat­e­gor­i­cally that he wanted to search O’Car­roll.

‘Mr. O’Car­roll is not a man un­aware of the cir­cum­stances of in­volve­ment with gar­dai. The man fled. The gar­dai would look fool­ish stand­ing at Gilt­spur Heights shout­ing down to the man what the penal­ties are. There wasn’t time.’

‘I’m not giv­ing a de­ci­sion on this to­day,’ said Judge David Kennedy. ‘I need to do a bit of read­ing.’ He ad­journed the case to April 24.

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