Homeless man to face trial over pepper-spraying incident in Dublin

The incident occurred on Dublin's Henry Street
The incident occurred on Dublin's Henry Street

A HOMELESS man will face trial in September over an incident on Dublin's Henry Street in which his arrest was filmed and went viral on the internet.

Polish national Krzysztof Podgorzec, 35, who is of no fixed abode, appeared at Dublin District Court today and had his trial adjourned by Judge Bryan Smyth to allow time for the prosecution to obtain CCTV evidence. 

The court heard that the video evidence had not been available at an earlier stage because it formed part of a Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation  into the arrest. 

The GSOC probe concluded in May.

Mr Podgorzec faces two charges in connection with an alleged incident on Henry Street on March 13: being intoxicated to such and extent in public that he was a danger to himself and others, and breach of the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. He is contesting the charges.

Both are a summary only offences that are dealt with at district court level. On conviction the first charge carries a fine while the second can result in a three-month sentence as well as a monetary penalty.

Today, the defence objected to the adjournment and said they had been refused disclosure of evidence. However Judge Smyth agreed to the prosecution's request to set a new trial date.

Mr Podgorzec was remanded on continuing bail.

At an earlier stage his solicitor asked to be furnished with disclosure of prosecution evidence to include any CCTV.

A video of the alleged incident was posted on the internet and has gone viral with the clip appearing to show an officer arresting a man lying in a doorway under a sleeping bag. 

GSOC had opened an investigation saying they did so because it was desirable in the public interest as a result of the level of public disquiet generated by this incident. In May the watchdog found that the force used was lawful and proportionate.