Garda denies he planted marked sterling after drug-dealer's arrest


A detective has denied a suggestion that he "planted" marked sterling notes in the property of a drug-dealer some time after that dealer was arrested by gardaí during a raid on the Point Inn night-club in Co Donegal.

Det Garda Noel McMahon was being cross-examined before the Court of Criminal Appeal in the continuing hearing of an application by Mr Frank Shortt for a certificate declaring a miscarriage of justice arising from his conviction for knowingly allowing the sale of drugs at his club, the Point Inn, Inishowen, in August 1992.

Mr Shortt served a three-year prison sentence. His conviction was overturned in November 2000 with no opposition from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Yesterday Det Garda McMahon was asked by Mr Eoin McGonigal SC, for Mr Shortt, about the detective garda's purchase of drugs from a man in the Point Inn on the night of August 2nd-3rd 1992.

Mr McGonigal put it to Det Garda McMahon that the dealer had said in a statement that he had bought drugs from another man after Det Garda McMahon had approached him looking for drugs.

Mr McGonigal said this meant the marked notes were not with the dealer but had been given to the other man by the dealer and that the later finding of the marked notes in the property of the dealer while he was being detained in Buncrana Garda station was consistent with the marked notes being planted.

Mr McGonigal added that when other gardaí had searched the dealer immediately after his arrest at the Point on August 3rd, nothing had been found. He suggested this meant Det Garda McMahon had planted the notes.

Det Garda McMahon denied the suggestion, adding: "I resent that remark." He had not interfered with any evidence or prisoner's property.

He said he had gone to the dealer in the Point on the night in question. Having "ordered" drugs from him, he went to the bar. He had the two marked £10 sterling notes in one pocket. He gave the dealer the marked money and received the tablets. The dealer was then arrested.

Asked about a reference to "nothing" being found on the dealer after he was arrested and searched by gardaí just after the deal, Det Garda McMahon said he believed this was a reference to no drugs being found. He himself had had no control over the Garda search of the man.

He had asked another garda to search the dealer's property later on the morning of August 3rd, while the dealer was in Buncrana Garda station, and that garda had found the two marked notes. Det Garda McMahon said he himself had had no dealings with the dealer while detained.

Mr McGonigal said the custody record relating to the night in question was now missing.

Det Garda McMahon agreed this would have recorded the dealer's property and what was taken from him.

He said it would have been a help to him if the custody record had been available.

Ms Miriam Reynolds SC, for the DPP, said the custody record was exhibited at Mr Shortt's trial.

Mr McGonigal also asked Det Garda McMahon about Ms Adrienne McGlinchey's claim that the detective had shown her a hand-drawn map of the interior of the Point Inn and that he had picked out locations where she was to put drugs.

Det Garda McMahon said he never showed Ms McGlinchey any map and never asked her to plant drugs.

The hearing resumes on Tuesday.