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[euro]1.1M FOR WRONGFUL ARREST OVER ATTACK; Man unlawfully accused of brutal assault on fiancee wins case against gardai.


A MAN wrongfully arrested the night his fiancee was savagely beaten in a street attack has been awarded more than [euro]1.1million by a High Court jury.

Property manager Gerald Jennings, 34, sued the Garda Commissioner and the State over the incident on December 2, 2012, in Carlow town.

It was claimed gardai wrongly suspected him of having attacked Martha Kowalczyk - when in fact it was carried out by 26-yearold Colvin Keogh, from The Paddocks.

The student was later jailed for seven years for assault causing serious harm and sexual assault.

The State denied the claims and said reasonable force was used to detain Mr Jennings, who resisted arrest.

Following a 11-day case, the jury found the actions of gardai were not reasonable for effecting a lawful arrest of Mr Jennings in good faith for the offences of breach of the peace and being drunk and disorderly. They also found his detention unlawful.

The jury assessed general damages at [euro]819,550 and exemplary damages at [euro]333,000, a total of [euro]1,152,000. A stay on the award was granted in the event of an appeal on condition [euro]150,000 is paid to Mr Jennings. He was also awarded costs.

The court had heard that as a result of his treatment by gardai - including being pepper sprayed three times - he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.

The incident arose following the garda call to deal with the attack on Ms Kowalczyk.

She refused to go to hospital in an ambulance not met this case until officers checked on Mr Jennings, fearing her attacker had got the keys to her flat where he was.

He said his "nightmare" started when he was woken by three gardai and subsequently arrested for alleged abusive behaviour.

Before he was put into a Garda van, Mr Jennings claimed Sgt Theresa Phillips said: "That's what you get for beating your girlfriend, you dirty scumbag".

In a statement, he said the verdict "sent a strong message to the public that the high standard of conduct expected from our gardai was not met in this case - those who enforce the law must keep it".

p s The standard of conduct expected from gardai was not met in this case GERALD JENNINGS carlow yesterday


court ordeal Gerald Jennings & Martha Kowalczyk

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 30, 2019
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