Man claimed gardaí threw him down steps

A Corkman claimed two gardaí threw him down the front steps of the Bridewell Garda Station but CCTV showed one guard holding the front door and advising him to be careful of the steps.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission investigated the man’s complaint but said security footage confirmed there was no physical contact with the man at all.

The Ombudsman prosecuted James O’Leary, aged 57, from Skiddy’s Home, Pouladuff Rd, Cork, for making a false complaint.

Judge Aingeal Ní Chondúin described his false claim as shocking and irresponsible as she imposed a four-month suspended jail term on him at Cork District Court.

O’Leary pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to making a statement to Gsoc in relation to a complaint or investigation, knowing it to be false or misleading contrary to Section 110 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005.

Gsoc designated officer, Noreen Lambert, said O’Leary had made a formal complaint to gardaí on February 27, 2016, that he had been assaulted by unknown gardaí when leaving the Bridewell Garda Station after being released from custody there earlier that morning.

The gardaí referred the complaint to Gsoc and on June 10, 2016, O’Leary provided a written statement to GSOC confirming his complaint in which he alleged “without warning two gardaí caught me at each side and threw me out the door at the front of the station onto the steps outside”.

He told GSOC in the cautioned statement that he attended Cork University Hospital on February 27, 2016 where he was found to have soft tissue injury to his chest while his local GP later noted that O’Leary complained of continuing pain in his ribs since the incident.

Ms Lambert said Gsoc began an investigation and obtained CCTV footage from the custody area, the entrance/exit hall and the external area outside the Bridewell at the time of O’Leary’s release and the footage refuted the allegation made by O’Leary that he was assaulted.

“The footage shows James O’Leary having his property returned, leave the custody area into the exit hall and out the front door of the station. It shows one garda holding the door open for him as he leaves unassisted and the custody garda advising him to mind his step on leaving,” she said.

The footage also showed that there was no interaction between O’Leary and any garda outside the station.

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