The Irish Times

Jury acquits man of impersonat­ing a garda

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A Sligo taxi driver has been acquitted of impersonat­ing a garda while meeting a prostitute for sex in a hotel room.

John Feeley (50), of Moylough, Tubercurry, had denied a charge of making a statement or doing an act calculated to falsely suggest he was a member of An Garda Síochána at the Clarion Hotel, Ballinode, Co Sligo, on May 6th, 2011. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

The trial heard evidence that Mr Feeley met the escort for sex in the hotel room. She alleged he told her that he was “a police officer” and showed her some form of ID card with the word “firearms” on it.

They had sex and she claimed he left without paying her. He was later arrested and told gardaí he had paid her for sex, but he denied ever telling her was a police officer or showing her any ID.

Senior counsel Delia Marie Flynn, defending, told the jury that there were only two people in the room and that there was no external evidence of the allegation­s.

The trial heard it was not a criminal offence to use the services of a prostitute or to exchange sex for money.

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