Domestic violence victims urged to report any garda who attacked them

Gsoc open call comes after ex-officer jailed for trying to choke former partner

“Gsoc provides an independent investigation service for members of the public who wish to complain about the behaviour of An Garda Síochána,” it said. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

“Gsoc provides an independent investigation service for members of the public who wish to complain about the behaviour of An Garda Síochána,” it said. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Anyone who has ever been subjected to domestic violence by a member of the Garda force has been urged to come forward and their cases will be investigated.

The open call was made on Monday by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) just hours after an ex-garda was given a six-month jail sentence, with three months suspended, for brutally attacking and trying to choke his former partner when he was “off his face” on cocaine.

The man cannot be named because the victim’s children were witnesses in the case. He pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to trespass and assault causing harm to the terrified woman, who thought he would kill her. The former Garda, in his 30s, left An Garda Síochána in the period since the incidents in 2018.

That case was taken by Gsoc and now the Garda watchdog agency has issued an open call to anyone victimised by domestic violence at the hands of members of the force to come forward and make a complaint for investigation.

“Gsoc provides an independent investigation service for members of the public who wish to complain about the behaviour of An Garda Síochána,” it said. “Gsoc would encourage any person who has been the subject of abuse from a domestic partner , or ex-partner, who is a Garda to contact Gsoc so it can be investigated.”

At the weekend it emerged some 21 Garda members had declared within the force that barring or related orders had been granted against them since the start of 2019. Of the 21, some nine gardai were being investigated for breach of the orders. Of those nine cases, five involved an element of coercive control.

The call by Gsoc for victims to come forward comes days after Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said an audit was being carried out to check that all current investigations into Garda members accused of sexual or domestic violence were being advanced expeditiously and fully.

When the live investigations were checked, he believed historical inquiries into Garda members accused of sexual or domestic crimes would also be reviewed.

Mr Harris said an investigation team was being assembled to carry out the work as the Garda had watched developments in the case of Sarah Everard who was abducted, raped and murdered by then Met police officer Wayne Couzens.

He has been jailed for a full life sentence and it has since emerged there were other allegations against him, including of a sexual nature, that were not investigated properly. Mr Harris said there were lessons from Ms Everard’s murder that the Garda could “build on”.