Ireland: Garda who harassed solicitor to be freed from jail after appeal - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandGarda who harassed solicitor to be freed from jail after appeal

07:25  03 july  2019
07:25  03 july  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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A detective garda jailed for harassing a State solicitor by sending abusive letters is to walk free from prison following a successful sentence appeal . Eve Doherty (51), with an address at Blackglen Road, Sandyford, in Dublin, had the balance of her three year sentence suspended on Tuesday by the Court

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A detective garda jailed for harassing a State solicitor by sending abusive letters will walk free from prison following a successful sentence appeal.

Eve Doherty (51), of Blackglen Road, Sandyford, Dublin, had the balance of her three-year sentence suspended yesterday by the Court of Appeal.

Her 2017 trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that over an 18-month period, letters and emails were sent to the home and place of work of State solicitor Elizabeth Howlin, scurrilously calling her "corrupt", an "incompetent useless hobbit" and a "two-faced b***h".

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A garda detective who was found guilty of harassing a State solicitor by sending her abusive letters and emails is to be placed in custody next week ahead of sentencing in Doherty, who worked for the crime and security division, was suspended from An Garda Siochana after her arrest, the court heard.

At the time in question, Ms Howlin worked with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), where she was involved in deciding whether or not to bring prosecutions in criminal cases.

Doherty held the position of detective sergeant and worked in the crime and security division of An Garda Síochána.

The court heard that Ms Howlin didn't know Doherty until the trial and that Doherty was then in a relationship with Ms Howlin's ex-partner.

Doherty was found guilty by a jury of harassing Ms Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013. She had denied the charge and was acquitted on two counts of making false statements.

Sentencing Doherty to three years' imprisonment in January 2018, Judge Melanie Greally said the communications by Doherty contained outright and "scurrilous" lies.

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A GARDA DETECTIVE who was found guilty of harassing a State solicitor by sending her abusive letters and emails is to be placed in custody next Doherty, a detective sergeant based in Dublin, was found guilty by a jury of harassing Elizabeth Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013.

The judge said he was imposing the sentence “to send out a message to any other that thinks of spreading information that is grossly defamatory”.

Judge Greally noted that Doherty showed no remorse and had not acknowledged her wrongdoing.

Suspending the unserved balance of her 36-month sentence yesterday, President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said Doherty's first 12 months in custody were "exceptionally difficult".

As a female first-time offender of previous good character, Mr Justice Birmingham said she had served 20 months in a secure environment, the Dóchas Centre women's prison in Dublin.

He said experience had shown that first-time offenders of previous good character, who were male, might be expected to serve a significant portion of their sentence in an open prison. But no such facility existed in the State for women, the court heard.

Doherty's barrister, Michael O'Higgins SC, referred to his client's accomplishments in her career and the recognised difficulty gardaí face when serving prison sentences. He said the absence of an acknowledgment of wrongdoing should not "set at nought" other factors that were in Doherty's favour.

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A Dublin Garda has been jailed for three years for engaging in an 18-month campaign of harassment against a solicitor in the Office of the DPP. Eve Doherty was in a relationship with Elizabeth Howlin’s ex-husband when she started sending her abusive letters and emails in 2011.

Last July, Doherty, 50, of Sandyford, Dublin, was found guilty of harassing Elizabeth Howlin between ­September 2011 and March 2013. Doherty was a detective sergeant in the crime and security division of An Garda Siochana.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said the sentencing judge ought to have considered suspending a portion of Doherty's sentence to incentivise her to not to reoffend.

He said the decision to impose a straight three-year sentence, without any suspended element, was an error in principle.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the court would suspend the unserved balance of Doherty's sentence on condition she not contact or communicate directly or indirectly with the injured party or with third parties in relation to the injured party for five years.

Doherty undertook to be so bound.

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