| 4.3°C Dublin

Bash test dummy Gardai forced to isolate after arresting man who they claim knew he had Covid-19

Gardaí allege Longford man Hughie Nevin went out drinking in local pubs and then assaulted his wife, knowing he had tested positive for the virus.

Close

Gardai alleged that Hughie Nevin had a positive result.

Gardai alleged that Hughie Nevin had a positive result.

Gardai alleged that Hughie Nevin had a positive result.

This is the man gardaí allege forced six officers into 14-day self-isolation and necessitated an €1,800 deep clean of a garda station after he 'blatantly flaunted Covid'.

Gardaí allege Longford man Hughie Nevin went out drinking in local pubs and then assaulted his wife, knowing he had tested positive for the virus.

The shocking claims were made against Nevin, who denies he knew he had tested positive, over two separate court hearings, as the 25-year-old faced a charge of assault on a woman at St. Michael's Road, Longford on December 19.

Nevin insisted in court this week he had not seen the text message from the HSE as he shares a phone with his wife, adding the handset was dead when the message arrived.

Gardaí dispute this, saying the text message, confirming Nevin's positive status, was sent to him by the HSE on December 17 - two days before the incident occurred.

Close

Hughie Nevin from Longford who was arrested for assaulting a female.  Pic taken 19-1-2021 at Longford court

Hughie Nevin from Longford who was arrested for assaulting a female. Pic taken 19-1-2021 at Longford court

Hughie Nevin from Longford who was arrested for assaulting a female. Pic taken 19-1-2021 at Longford court

Describing the events that led to Nevin's arrest at the first hearing, Sgt Mark Mahon told Judge Seamus Hughes that Nevin had blatantly flaunted Covid.

"He was in Longford, blatantly flaunting Covid," the sergeant told the court.

"He had tested positive and knew he was positive but refused to isolate and instead went into the pubs and consumed alcohol.

"He was arrested for the assault of a female and as a result of his actions, a large number of the force at Longford Garda Station had to self-isolate for 14 days, putting extreme financial pressure on the Department of Justice.

"Six gardaí involved in the incident had to get Covid-19 tests and isolate for a period of 14 days," he said, "and a deep clean and disinfection of the garda station resulted in a cost of €1,800."

Nevin, who did not appear when the charges initially came before the court on January 12, was present in on Tuesday this week and denied that he had known he was Covid positive at the time of the alleged offence.

Sgt Mahon told the court this week that gardaí were seeking additional time to seek directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions and that they were also seeking for conditions to be attached to Nevin's bail.

"Is Mr Nevin the man who attended at the garda station after testing positive for Covid?" inquired Judge Hughes.

"That's correct judge," responded the sergeant.

"And as a result of that," the judge queried, "a large number of gardaí had to self-isolate for 14 days?"

"That's correct judge," the sergeant again responded.

The court heard that gardaí were now seeking a number of conditions to be attached to Nevin's original station bail.

Sgt Mahon said gardaí were seeking a curfew from 10pm to 6am and that Nevin sign on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Longford garda station.

Close

Hughie Nevin from Longford

Hughie Nevin from Longford

Hughie Nevin from Longford

Addressing the defendant directly, Judge Hughes then inquired of him as to whether he had now quarantined for 14 days and was clear of the virus.

"Yes I am," Nevin responded. "I was completely unaware at the time of the arrest … I wasn't aware of it [the positive test result]."

"My understanding," the judge responded, "was that you had already got the results of your tests."

"No I didn't," Nevin insisted.

Judge Hughes then moved to clarify this, asking Nevin if he had tested positive for Covid.

"Yes," Nevin responded.

"And did you quarantine for 14 days?" the judge asked.

"When I was made aware I was positive I did quarantine," Nevin answered.

"The only reason I got tested was the brother-in-law tested positive a few days before that.

"They weren't even going to test me. They told me that I wasn't a close contact and it was only because I'd played a football match four or five days before that with him.

"I wasn't symptomatic … I didn't show any symptoms and I wasn't aware before I left the house that I had [tested positive]."

Sgt Mahon broke in at this point saying: "The gardaí would dispute that.

"It may be there was information that he knew and was aware that he was Covid positive."

Appearing on behalf of Nevin, solicitor Brid Mimnagh said her client shares a phone with his wife.

Incident

"Himself and his wife share a phone," she said.

"They have only one phone between them. The phone had gone dead when the test result came in. It was dead so he didn't know."

She added that when her client's wife realised that Nevin was positive she went to the Market Bar, informed him he was positive and he immediately returned home.

She said it was after Nevin returned home that an incident occurred and the gardaí were called.

Addressing the court, Sgt Mahon said the text relating to Nevin's positive results had come in on his phone on December 17 while the incident and Nevin's arrest had occurred on December 19 .

"The text message was sent by the HSE on the 17th of December," he said.

"We have a screenshot of it.

"The HSE confirmed the text message was sent on the 17th of December … that's two days prior."

Putting an end to the exchange, Judge Hughes said these were two separate issues.

"He is only charged with an offence on the 19th of December for an assault on a female," he said.

"The whole thing is very odd."

He then imposed a number of conditions as sought by gardaí.

These include that Nevin abide by the 10pm-6am curfew, that he provide gardaí with a mobile number he can be contacted on, that Nevin sign on at Longford garda station and that he comply with the current Covid guidelines.

The matter was then adjourned to February 16.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Sunday World


Top Videos





Privacy