British Navy officer charged with assault on female garda

A BRITISH Navy officer was arrested in Cork yesterday and charged with assaulting a female garda.

Warrant officer on the HMS Mersey, Robert Nixon, 39, was arrested by Detective Garda Sharon Sweeney and charged with two counts arising out of the incident that allegedly occurred shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Nixon was charged with Section 3 of the Non-fatal Offences Against the Person Act, the particulars of the charge being that he assaulted Garda Hilary Lynch causing her harm at Kennedy Quay, Cork, on September 1.

The defendant was also charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that could have caused a breach of the peace. Nixon made no reply to either charge.

He was brought before Cork District Court yesterday afternoon where Inspector John Deasy said directions in the case were not yet available from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The inspector said there was no objection to the accused being released on bail while the prosecution awaits DPP directions.

Frank Buttimer, defence solicitor, said the defendant was a warrant officer. Nixon told Judge David Riordan that he had 22 years service with the Navy and that his tenure did not end until 2021.

Nixon gave an undertaking to return to Cork to face the case against him. His superior officer, Mathew Marriot, said he would facilitate this by ensuring Nixon’s availability. He said that while he did not have the legal authority to order the defendant to attend, he said that any failure by the defendant to meet the case “would almost certainly end in the termination of his career”.

Executive officer Marriot said Nixon was, in his experience, an honest, decent and highly professional officer.

Judge Riordan remanded him on bail to appear in court on October 20.

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