The issuing of search warrants by judges is to come under the microscope in an investigation by Gsoc into whether the search of the apartment of a young woman and her children was conducted on a proper basis.
The search, which took place nearly three years ago, was ostensibly to recover a pair of shorts from a teenager who had allegedly been involved in the attempted robbery of a laptop some four months earlier. Usually, the type of case at issue would be dealt with by a juvenile liaison officer who might issue a warning.
Gsoc is investigating a complaint from a garda who was in the apartment at the time of the raid that it was actually designed to target him. Two of the young mother’s brothers had been involved in serious crime but were deceased.
The garda claims that he was targeted because of a belief he could be compromised by his relationship with the woman, even though there is absolutely no suggestion that she was in any way involved in crime.
He claims that nobody approached him to ask him about the relationship and instead the raid was designed to confirm it. He was subsequently transferred out of the serious crime division where he had worked.
The garda is also taking a High Court action claiming that his career has been damaged by the whole affair.
He has questioned the basis on which the search warrant was issued by a judge and whether or not the judge was aware of the exact reasons being presented to justify the search. The warrant was issued under Section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act which is designed to deal with serious crime.
The Irish Examiner understands An Garda Síochána is maintains the warrant was executed for the stated purpose and the garda’s presence in the flat at the time was entirely coincidental.
An Garda Síochána has a long-standing policy of making no comment on any case involving an employee.
When contacted, Gsoc refused to comment.
The complainant garda said that he had nothing to say about the matter.