Heroin user who accused garda is jailed for 18 months
A heroin user who attempted to rob a haberdashery shop with a used syringe and reported an arresting garda from Wexford to the Garda Ombudsman has been jailed.
Gary Purcell, aged 29, of Crystal Court in Kilcohan, Waterford city, was two weeks ago found guilty of the attempted robbery of the Singer Sewing Centre on Newgate Street, in Waterford city, on November 5, 2011.
A GSOC case brought by Purcell alleging excessive force was used in his arrest, has been dropped against David Hearne, an award-winning garda from Fethard-on-Sea who has received awards for lifesaving in the course of his duties and who arrested Purcell.
During sentencing at Waterford Circuit Court last Friday, Judge Sean O'Donnobhain said that Purcell and his legal team 'became transfixed about the CCTV' in the case. Purcell had maintained that he was beaten by Garda Hearne during arrest and was told that CCTV footage would be wiped.
However, a GSOC spokeswoman since confirmed that the investigation was closed in June 2014 because of 'a lack of independent evidence to substantiate an allegation'.
The heroin addict was sentenced to three years for the attempted robbery of the haberdashery shop. However, the final 18 months were suspended for two years.