Garda jailed after 'gay shirt' assault
An off-duty garda that beat a man unconscious in Cork has been jailed for six months after pleading guilty to assault.
A court heard that garda Dean Foley, who is stationed in Bantry, had been off duty and was drinking with his brother, Travis, when an intoxicated Stephen Gerard Murphy of Grenagh, Co.Cork, exclaimed that Travis’ was wearing a “gay shirt”.
An independent witness told the court that Mr Murphy was “knocked clean off his feet” after receiving a blow to the face from Mr Foley following the statement, and suffering a broken nose, broken bones, broken teeth and bleeding on the brain from the incident.
The off duty garda's case is the first to be investigated since the Garda Ombudsman Commission's establishment to result in a custodial sentence. 12 months of the 18-month sentence will be suspended, meaning that Foley is to be jailed for six months in total.
Foley had pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm and broke down in the witness box as he expressed remorse for his actions. He also stated that this ‘moment of madness’ had cost him his career. The court heard that he had sold his car and motorbike to help pay compensation to his victim.
Foley’s brother has also pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and is due to be sentenced June 27.