Gardaí plead not guilty to assaulting man in his home

A man who claims he was assaulted by two gardaí in Co Meath has told Trim Circuit Court he thought he was going to lose his life during the incident.

William Sheils told the court yesterday the two gardaí had let themselves into his home in the middle of the night and attacked him when he confronted them.

The court heard the evidence at the start of the trial of Sergeant Michael Jordan and Garda Alan Coates, who are based at Ashbourne Garda Station and have pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Shiels causing him harm contrary to section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act at Tara Lawns, Ashbourne, on the night of Apr 26, 2009.

The court heard a number of gardaí had called to Mr Shiels’ home at 11.30pm that night to arrest another man in connection with an assault on a woman in a nearby laneway.

Mr Sheils said he had initially refused to let them in but eventually he invited them in to arrest the man which they did.

He said that around midnight he was upstairs lying in bed watching TV when he heard “an unmerciful bang” at the front door.

He told prosecuting counsel, Paul Greene SC, that Sgt Jordan and Garda Coates were standing in the hallway. They ran upstairs, grabbed him, dragged him down to the hall and beat him.

He claimed that Sgt Jordan had kicked and punched him for approximately 10 to 15 minutes while Garda Coates held him down.

He said the sergeant had said: “Do you realise that a woman was raped in Ashbourne this night?”

The gardaí left the house after the beating and Mr Sheils said he had walked to Ashbourne Garda Station at 1am to report the incident.

Cross-examined by Padraig Dywer SC, Mr Sheils denied being unco-operative with the gardaí who had first called to arrest the other man.

He also denied, on the second visit, his door had been open and the gardaí had announced their presence. He also denied he had come down the stairs in an aggressive manner before kneeing the sergeant in the groin and pushing him.

The barrister also questioned him about inconsistencies in his evidence

The trial continues today.

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