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Retired senior garda to be sentenced over repeated sexual abuse of his sister

The former officer’s sister came forward about the abuse when she fell seriously ill a number of years ago, it is understood

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Ali Bracken

A retired senior member of An Garda Síochána, who led a number of major murder investigations, is due to be sentenced over the repeated sexual abuse of his sister.

The officer has already appeared in court charged with the abuse of his younger sister, which is alleged to have taken place in the late 1970s.

The man, now aged in his mid-60s, was initially charged with 18 counts of “unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman known to be his sister” as well as 18 separate counts of indecently assaulting her.

His trial was due to get underway in December. However, he then entered a guilty plea to 10 sample counts of indecent assault and incest involving his sister.

He is due to be sentenced at the Circuit Criminal Court on March 14 in connection with the crimes.

The former senior garda had already appeared in court a number of times in relation to his alleged crimes.

The State’s case has been that the alleged abuse of his sister took place when he was aged 19 and 20, while his sister was in her teens. The abuse is alleged to have occurred in the south of the country over several years.

It is understood the former senior officer “rang around” some garda colleagues in recent weeks asking if they would provide him with a character reference. Such references are generally used by defendants at sentencing hearings to try and mitigate their jail sentence.

The former officer’s sister came forward about the abuse when she fell seriously ill a number of years ago, it is understood.

She made a “dying declaration” statement, which subsequently sparked the major garda investigation.

The woman is still fighting for her life because of the illness.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in gardaí being brought before the courts charged with crimes of a sexual nature, in line with a general societal increase in reporting of these crimes and subsequent criminal cases.

Last month, this newspaper revealed that a former garda in the West of Ireland has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on two occasions at a garda station.

This married officer is also charged with harassing and stalking another woman. He has now been sent forward for trial in the circuit court, having appeared in the district court in January in relation to four charges.

He is charged with two counts of sexual assault on the same woman, which allegedly took place on two dates in February 2015 at the garda station where he was then based.

He is also charged with harassing and stalking the same woman, as well as another, on dates in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

It is claimed he used coercion and his “position of power” as a member of An Garda Síochána to commit the alleged sexual assaults against the woman. Both alleged victims are foreign nationals.

The officer was previously arrested for questioning in connection with immigration offences.

He was questioned over allegations of taking bribes in return for stamping forms that allowed foreign nationals to stay in Ireland without the correct documentation. He was released without charge the next day.

It was as a consequence of that wide-ranging investigation that the alleged crimes he is now charged with came to light.

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