Gardaí were looking for prostitutes on Christmas night out, says attack victim

A 19-year-old has told a court he was assaulted by two off-duty gardaí who were looking for prostitutes during a Christmas night out in Limerick.

Luke Morrison claimed the officers tried to force their way into his home at Upper Cecil St in Limerick, and later assaulted him and his brother after asking where they could find prostitutes.

At Limerick District Court, Mr Morrison said he did not know if the apartment building where he lived was used as a brothel but he was aware “there had been a lot of bad press in the area” about prostitutes.

David Naughton, of Lucan, Dublin, and Wesley Kenny, of Sandyford, Dublin — both based at Garda stations in Dublin — deny assaulting Luke Morrison and his brother, James Morrison at Catherine St, Limerick, on December 5, 2013.

Their defence counsel, Breffni Gordon, told Limerick District Court that both men “vigorously dispute” the charges.

In the case before Judge Gráinne O’Neill, the court was shown CCTV evidence of a fight outside Flannery’s Pub on Catherine St on December 5.

Mr Morrison said he and his brother were beaten up in the fight, and that he had suffered “quite a few blows the head”.

He said that, earlier that evening, he had met both the accused when they tried to gain entry to his apartment on Upper Cecil St, by pushing in through the main front door, and he had stopped them.

His friend and girlfriend were with him at the time.

He said both accused said they were looking for “brazzers”, which he explained means prostitutes. He claimed the two men were drunk at the time and he told them they were not welcome at his home.

The court heard Mr Morrison met the accused later that night outside Flannery’s as he was walking to a fast-food outlet with his brother James.

He said the accused put their hands up, stating: “We’re just looking for brazzers, no trouble lads.”

He said he never knew they were gardaí until the assault happened, when he said a Garda badge was “shoved in his face”.

The witness said one of the accused shouted: “Garda business, fuck off.”

He also said he heard the words “don’t fuck with the guards” being said during the beating.

Mr Morrison also claimed the accused shouted “drop the needle, drop the needle”, which he claimed implied he had something on him, and they also falsely accused him and his brother of trying to rob them.

Under cross-examination, Mr Morrison said the accused had “abused their Garda powers”. He denied he had come down from his apartment that evening waving a bread knife.

He also denied under cross-examination by Mr Gordon that he had used drugs in the hours leading up to the assault, or that his apartment was used for the taking of drugs.

The case continues.

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