Probationer garda admits attacking two female colleagues
A PROBATIONER garda will be sentenced in September after he admitted attacking two female colleagues who intervened when a drunken fight got out of hand.
Michael Crowley (27), Blarney, Co Cork, attached to a station in Crumlin, Dublin, pleaded guilty yesterday to assaulting colleagues and former housemates Anne Marie Hennessy and Gillian McNulty, during an off-duty incident, on February 15th, 2011.
Garda Insp Mel Smyth said Crowley had been returning to his rented home in Lucan in Dublin with a friend after a night out. Both were intoxicated.
“Initially they seemed to be getting on well. They started mess-fighting which turned a bit serious,” Garda Insp Smyth told Judge Bridget Reilly at Dublin District Court.
It started to get noisy and the women came out to see what was happening. Crowley became aggressive as Garda Hennessy took up a position between him and the other man “to prevent a serious altercation taking place”.
Crowley pushed her to the ground and Garda McNulty then stepped in.
“He grabbed her by the neck and throat area with one hand and by the hair with his right hand,” Garda Insp Smyth told the court.
A witness went inside to dial 999 and the situation calmed down when gardaí arrived.
Garda Insp Smyth agreed with solicitor Dara Robinson, defending, that Crowley had no prior criminal convictions and was a probationer garda. He also agreed that Crowley came from a respectable family and before joining the force had attained a certificate in mechanical engineering.
Garda Hennessy, who was knocked down, sustained no injuries and Garda McNulty “suffered a loss of breath” after the attack.
Mr Robinson asked the judge to note a reference provided by one of Crowley’s superiors which said he was a competent officer.
There had never been any previous incidents when he shared a house with the two women and he could give no explanation as to why he had turned on them.
The following day, he packed his bags and moved out, Mr Robinson said.
The court heard that a witness who had socialised with him previously had never seen him act like that. Mr Robinson also said the case could have consequences for his future in the Garda Síochána.
Judge Reilly heard that the two victims were present for the hearing but they did not want to address the court about the incident after being notified that Crowley was pleading guilty.
The case was adjourned until September.