No prosecution evidence was offered yesterday against a member of An Garda Síochána on a charge of forging a document.
The trial judge directed a jury to return a verdict of not guilty within moments of the trial commencing.
“It would take me too long to explain why we had to go through this rigmarole but it was not an onerous task — even for someone who had to cycle from Clonakilty,” said Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin, joking with a member of the jury who complained about the difficulty of jury service when he had no transport to get from Clonakilty to Cork Circuit Criminal Court every day.
Garda Brigette O’Connor, aged 38, from Limerick, was then discharged from any further attendance in relation to the case.
The charge against Garda O’Connor stated that, at the Bridewell Garda Station, Cork, on July 2, 2017, she made a false instrument, to wit a purported statement of withdrawal of a complaint by Anthony Spillane, with the intention of inducing other members of An Garda Síochána to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it, to omit to continue to investigate an allegation of assault causing harm made by Mr Spillane, to the prejudice of the said members of An Garda Síochána.
The only witness called was Mr Spillane.
Dermot Sheehan, prosecuting, asked Mr Spillane if he had gone to Fermoy Garda Station on December 3, 2016, and made a complaint to gardaí.
He confirmed that he had done so.
Mr Spillane was then asked by Mr Sheehan if he wanted to give evidence of anything else occurring that in relation to his statement of complaint.
Mr Spillane answered: “I don’t want to give evidence in this case.”
Mr Sheehan said there was no other prosecution evidence being offered in the case against Garda O’Connor.
Judge Ó Donnabháin then said to the jury: “There is in fact no evidence upon which you can convict. In view of what Mr Spillane says, I am directing you to find the accused not guilty by direction of the judge.”