Trial of garda accused of harassment and insurance fraud nears end

Evidence has finished in the trial of a garda accused of harassment and insurance fraud.

Trial of garda accused of harassment and insurance fraud nears end

Evidence has finished in the trial of a garda accused of harassment and insurance fraud.

Garda Paul Fogarty, who is based at Dundrum Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to harassing Christopher Kelly and his father, Patrick, on dates between November 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009.

Mr Fogarty has also pleaded not guilty to dishonestly by deception inducing Quinn Direct to pay out an insurance claim of €10,254 at Littlepace, Clonee, Co Meath.

Today the trial heard defence evidence that Mr Fogarty is still insured with the same company he is accused of defrauding.

The defence also presented evidence of the garda’s involvement with the Shelbourne Football Club under-16s team.

However, it was also acknowledged that this involvement dated from around the period when the investigation into Mr Fogarty began.

Detective Garda William Saunderson told defence counsel Breffni Gordon BL that his enquires showed Mr Fogarty has had car insurance with Quinn Direct, now Liberty Insurance, since December 12, 2005. This policy is not due to expire until December 2013.

Derek Farrell, the manger of the under-16s Shelbourne Team, gave character evidence for the accused. He said Mr Forgarty became involved with the team as a Junior Coach in 2009 and has since been appointed as a technical director.

He said he is highly respected in the club and that since his arrival three or four players have progressed to international level.

Mr Farrell also said that Mr Fogarty is entitled to a €5,000 annual salary but that he turned this down to help the club.

The witness agreed with Melanie Greally BL that the accused started with the club around the summer of 2009. She said that this was around the time gardaí began investigating the alleged offences.

Detective Inspector Finbarr Garland gave evidence that he arrested the accused in July.

He said Mr Fogarty told him he had bought the car for €19,000 in May 2007 but crashed it a few months later after he collided with a barrier on the M50.

He said he later brought it to Mr Kelly after he paid him €5,000 in advance for the repairs.

Mr Fogarty said that he must have contacted him a thousand times because he wanted to know where his car was.

“I was getting a bit touchy to be honest,” Mr Fogarty told gardaí.

When asked if his calls and text messages to the Kellys were threatening, he replied: “I was just trying to get me car back so I could sell it to pay off my debts.”

He agreed that when the car was eventually returned to him he was happier with it but they were still in dispute because it didn’t have the right wheels and his stereo had not been fitted. Mr Fogarty said he continued to “nag” Mr Kelly to get it repaired.

He said he had arranged to meet Mr Kelly but he went to bed when he didn’t show up.

When he woke up the next morning the car was gone. He said he reported it to the gardaí and alerted Quinn Direct.

Mr Fogarty said there was an argument between him and the insurance company over the value of the Celica.

He accepted that the notes taken by Quinn Direct were not an accurate account of the history of the car.

He also agreed that he had withheld certain information in relation to the car from the insurance company. “Possibly a certain amount,” Mr Fogarty replied.

The jury are expected to being their deliberations tomorrow after hearing from Judge Sarah Berkeley.

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