civil action | 

Rihanna’s ex-bodyguard sues An Garda Síochána, claims gardaí ‘assaulted’ him in bedroom

Geoffrey Keating (44) claims gardaí beat, kicked and hit him with the butt of a gun

Geoffrey Keating with pop singer Rihanna

Ali BrackenSunday Independent

A former bodyguard for pop star Rihanna has taken a legal action against An Garda Síochána, alleging an assault at his home during which he claims gardaí beat, kicked and hit him with the butt of a gun.

Geoffrey Keating (44), of Woodbank Drive, Finglas West, Dublin, has taken the action against the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice and the Attorney General over an alleged attack that he claims took place while he was sleeping at home on April 29, 2020.

Keating, who has a 2018 conviction for harassing a garda, was Rihanna’s head of security in 2012 and 2013.

In his civil action Keating says he was asleep when members of the armed support unit and other gardaí entered his bedroom. He claims he was then “hit with the butt of a gun”.

Keating alleges he was then “flipped onto his stomach” and restrained, during which gardaí “beat him with their fists and kicked him”.

He also states he was not criminally charged with any offence following his arrest that day.

The legal action is being handed by David Harrington of Harringtons LLP, a legal firm in Dublin which specialises in personal injuries cases. The solicitor confirmed his office issued the court proceedings on behalf of his client

Keating avoided jail in 2018 after being found guilty of harassing a garda by sending a string of abusive text messages, calling him a “bitch” and threatening: “I’ll slap you around.”

He sent nine messages to the officer’s private phone in the space of 90 minutes, saying: “You and your bully pals… you are not fit to wear that uniform.”

He was spared jail when Judge Ann Ryan handed down a suspended six-month sentence at Dublin District Court, and ordered him to stay away from the garda sergeant indefinitely.

The former bodyguard had pleaded not guilty to harassing Garda Sergeant Brendan Carey in 2016.

While Keating admitted sending the texts, he claimed these were not directed personally at Sgt Carey but referred to allegations that another named garda had strip-searched two youths.

Keating said Sgt Carey’s was the only number he had and he sent the text in the hope that his complaint would go “up the chain”.

Det Sgt Gavin Ross told the court Sgt Carey received messages through the Viber app to his personal phone on August 21, 2016. Det Sgt Ross went to the accused’s home in Finglas, took possession of his phone and arrested him.

In interview, when asked if he knew why he had been arrested, Keating said: “I do indeed, yeah. It took youse long enough though.”

Keating told gardaí in interview he texted Sgt Carey because he already had his number — and wanted to get arrested, so he could get his case across.

“I’m not going to stop at anything until I get this stopped, and stop gardaí abusing young kids,” he said. He said he knew there would be a “knee-jerk reaction” and he would be arrested.

After the messages were read back to him, he said he’d been on a lot of pain medication at the time and was “smoking weed to calm me down”.

Gda Carey told the court he gave Keating his phone number two years earlier when the accused had helped gardaí change the wheel of a garda patrol car. At the time, Keating said he had concerns about anti-social behaviour and Sgt Carey passed him on his personal number.

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