Man tells court of attack by Gardaí while he was a teenager

Two gardai lifted a teenager out of his bed and smacked his head against its frame after hitting him with batons, a court heard today.

Two gardai lifted a teenager out of his bed and smacked his head against its frame after hitting him with batons, a court heard today.

Owen Gaffney claimed he pleaded with officers not to beat him in front of his mother, who was allegedly held up by her throat before being locked in a bathroom.

Gardai Alan Conlon, aged 29, Claire Delaney, aged 25, Eoin Murtagh, aged 30, and Sean O’Leary, aged 34, are on trial accused of assault causing harm to Mr Gaffney, forcible entry and trespass at the family home in south inner city Dublin on February 17 2008.

Conlon, Delaney and Murtagh are also accused of the false imprisonment of Mr Gaffney’s mother Fidelma in a bathroom of her Basin Street flat.

They all deny the charges.

Mr Gaffney,aged 21, told the court he was asleep in bed on the Sunday evening after playing football when he sensed someone around him.

“I opened my eyes and Garda Sean O’Leary was standing to the left of me and he had two batons in his hand and he hit me there to the head,” he said.

“I was dazed then and they all just started hitting me.”

Mr Gaffney, who was 18 at the time, claimed Murtagh also hit him with a baton before the pair picked him up and smacked his head off the bed post.

“Me ma came running into the room when she heard them hitting me,” he continued.

“A garda held my ma by the neck against the mirror in my bedroom. I said ’Sean please, not in front of my ma’.

“He nodded at someone and they took her out and locked her in the bathroom. They had me on the ground and all took turns hitting me.”

Mr Gaffney said he was dazed as at least three gardai hit him for up to seven minutes, but could not fight back because he was like jelly.

“I was on the ground... I was trying to block myself,” he said.

“They were hitting me on the back with batons. I said to Garda Sean O’Leary ’What’s this all about?’ and he said ’three seconds’.

“I couldn’t speak because I was winded.”

He claimed Murtagh kicked him in the chin before the gardai left.

Mr Gaffney said his mother then collapsed to the floor crying before she ran to a shop to buy a camera to take photographs of his injuries – which included bruising to his upper body and head.

The young man admitted he knew O’Leary from being on patrol in the area and a previous arrest for driving without insurance, but denied any involvement in, or knowledge of, a row the night before the incident.

O’Leary showed no reaction as Mr Gaffney pointed him out in the courtroom to Judge Desmond Hogan and the jury of six men and six women.

Earlier, Rody Butler, scenes of crime examiner with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) which investigated the case, told the court he photographed several marks of blood on the wall in Mr Gaffney’s bedroom, as well as on a radiator, bed frame, a mirror and on a flag hanging on the wall.

“There appeared to be airborne blood marks on the right corner of the door,” he added.

Mr Gaffney will be cross-examined by each of the co-accused’s barristers tomorrow.

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