'cuffed | 

Disgraced Paul Moody joins a handful of ex-gardaí serving time in protective custody

Last Monday Moody, who had 20 years’ experience as a garda, pleaded guilty to inflicting a four-year regime of terror on his former partner and was remanded in custody.
Paul Moody arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last Tuesday for sentence after admitting coercive control. Picture by Collins Courts

Paul Moody arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last Tuesday for sentence after admitting coercive control. Picture by Collins Courts

Paul Moody

Paul Moody

Eamon DillonSunday World

The sound of handcuffs snapping shut may have been familiar to ex-garda Paul Moody, but it was the first time they shut around his own wrists.

Last Monday Moody, who had 20 years’ experience as a garda, pleaded guilty to inflicting a four-year regime of terror on his former partner and was remanded in custody.

The next day he got three years and three months for his crime, joining a handful of ex-gardaí serving time in prison.

This week he has been in Covid quarantine in Mountjoy Prison, but it is likely he will be transferred to another prison where he will serve his time in protective custody.

As an ex-garda he will never be able to mix with the general population due to the threat of violence against him, which the Irish Prison Service are obliged to protect him from.

Such prisoners are usually transferred to the Midlands Prison, one of the biggest in the country, where they can be kept isolated.

26/7/22 Paul Moody arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for his sentence hearing. PIC: Collins Courts

26/7/22 Paul Moody arriving at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for his sentence hearing. PIC: Collins Courts

If he does go to the Co Laois lock-up he’ll be joining ex-Superintendent John ‘Spud’ Murphy (61) who pleaded guilty to possessing drugs for sale and supply.

He admitted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, via a video link from Cloverhill Prison, to having cannabis, worth more than €13,000, at his home in North Dublin on September 29, 2021.

Murphy was remanded in continuing custody until October 4, this year when he is due for sentence.

There is another ex-garda serving a short sentence for the possession of child abuse images for which he got six months.

John McHugh (68) from Tralee, who had won a Scott Medal for Bravery during his career, had retired from the force when he accessed the material.

McHugh was convicted by a jury following his trial at Tralee Circuit Court after he pleaded not guilty to possessing the illegal material, which he downloaded off the internet between 2006 and 2009.

Judge Pat Meghan, who handed down the sentence on Monday, noted that it would be ‘exceptionally difficult’ for McHugh to go to prison, due to him having been a garda.

The judge said some of the victims in the images McHugh had downloaded were of ‘girls and boys aged between ten and 12 years’ involved in ‘sexual activity’.

McHugh had served as an ‘exemplary’ officer for 32 years, being rewarded for his bravery for rescuing people from a burning building, until his retirement in 2004.

Earlier this year ex-garda Stephen Cooper (37) got a six-year sentence for assaulting two women including one in which he inserted his fingers into her internally after accusing her of stealing his drugs.

In 2014 he got a three-year sentence for offences when he was a serving garda including allowing another man be wrongfully prosecuted for possession of drugs found during a search at the Electric Picnic music festival in 2009.

Cooper was also charged with stealing a bag of cannabis worth €560 from Sundrive Garda Station on May 27, 2010, but the charge was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Sources indicate there are at least two other ex-gardaí currently serving time for sexual offences who can’t be named to protect the anonymity of their victims.

It emerged this week Moody had used his position as garda to maintain his coercive control over the woman and to divert attempts to make a complaint about his behaviour.

Harrowing evidence was heard in court how he had mocked her as she received life-saving cancer treatment and even took her medication.

It has been reported the Director of Prosecutions accepted an offer to plead guilty to just one charge of coercive control amid fears the impact a contested trial would have on the victim’s health.

He was eventually caught when he tried to make a complaint about a member of the woman’s family and handed in his phone as part of the investigation.

At that point detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation realised what was going on and approached the victim.

The woman told RTE news this week that the investigating team were “amazing” and “they gave me back my faith in An Garda Síochána".

"He handed his own phone in and they came to me and said 'We know what he's doing to you'."

"While trying to destroy my life, he actually destroyed his own. No-one deserves to get away with treating anyone like this.”

"No other human being should treat another human being this way. It's cruel and beyond evil."

The woman said that she is due to continue her treatment.

"I now need time to concentrate on my health and my recovery.”


Today's Headlines

More Irish Crime

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