Garda trial delayed pending disciplinary proceedings

Garda Brendan Phillips
Garda Brendan Phillips

THE TRIAL of a Dublin based Garda and former GAA star, who is accused of taking part in an ATM scam, has been further delayed pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

Garda Brendan Phillips, 34, who is from Sligo but has an address at Charnwood Green, Clonsilla, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin District Court to three deception charges and two counts of attempted deception in connection with ATM withdrawals in March and April 2013.

The district court has heard it was alleged the former Sligo inter-county Gaelic footballer took €450 during the incidents.

He was due to face a two-day hearing in January which was to involve CCTV evidence as well as 25 prosecution witnesses. However it was then adjourned after Dublin District Court was told that the garda's lawyers needed time to consider new evidence which has come to light.

The case was listed again today and Judge Bryan Smyth agreed to a request from the defence for another adjournment pending the outcome of a co-defendant's disciplinary proceedings.

The case resumes in four weeks.

At an earlier stage in the proceedings, an outline of the allegations was given for the court to decide on the issue of jurisdiction. It was then ruled the case would be dealt with at district court level and not in the circuit court, which on conviction has tougher sentencing powers.

The DPP had also directed that the case should proceed in the district court.

Det Superintendent John Keane had said it was alleged that during the incidents in Dublin the defendant used his bank card to withdraw €170. He said the requested amount was dispensed in full and compromised three €50 notes and a €20 note.

Det Supt Keane had said it was alleged the notes were “manipulated” and €150 was taken out while the remaining €20 was left in the machine's dispensing tray.

“The machine is programmed to automatically retract that money into the retracting tray,” he had said.

“At that time the machine was unable to identify how much money was taken back into the machine. It is flagged as an extraordinary transaction and the full value is refunded to the account,” Det Supt Keane had said.

Another garda has been convicted and fined by the court in December for his role in the theft.