Spared jail for lying to GSOC

A grandmother has been spared jail for lying to GSOC after she posted a lewd Valentine’s card containing a G-string and a bullet to a detective in the Garda "cold case" unit.

Spared jail for lying to GSOC

The trial at Dublin District Court heard claims of bullying and harassment in the Serious Crime Review Team which was set up to examine unsolved historic murders.

Julie Conway Browning, 50, from Dermot O’Dwyer House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin, was found guilty of giving false or misleading information to the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

She had denied being in contact with a garda detective around the time she sent the card to one of his superiors, based in Harcourt Square, in Dublin. But phone records showed there were almost 300 communications between them.

Judge Bryan Smyth heard a complaint was made to GSOC on August 14, 2011, from the wife of Det Sergeant Michael Buckley, a member of the Serious Crime Review Team. Mrs Buckley told GSOC her husband has been subjected to ongoing harassment and bullying by two named colleagues, including a detective garda.

She alleged that in February 2011, her husband, “received an envelope in the post, it contained a Valentine’s card”. Inside the card was poem of a “graphic sexual nature” as well as a “black and red G-string and a 22 calibre bullet”.

Mrs Buckley told GSOC she feared for her family’s safety.

When questioned by a GSOC investigator both Ms Conway Browning, who had been identified as the sender, and the detective garda stated they had not been in touch with each other since the 1990s.

Ms Conway Browning agreed she had sent the poem and the underwear for a laugh but claimed she did not put a bullet in the envelope. She had also told GSOC: “I feel Michael Buckley put the bullet in it, gardaí should look at the people he locked up.”

The detective garda has pleaded not guilty to the same charge and is to go on trial next year.

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