Two female Gardai took sick leave as a result of stress they suffered as a result of alleged sexual approaches of a male colleague while one of the women tried to kill herself.
Yesterday was the second day of a trial at Letterkenny Circuit Court of Garda Kevin Corby who is facing charges of sexual assault
During yesterday’s hearing defence barrister Peter Nolan revealed one of the complainants had bought boxer shorts and other items as part of a ‘Secret Santa’ gift for a Garda station’s Christmas party in 2010.
Describing the underwear as ‘sexually suggestive’ he asked:“Why if you despised this man did you buy him a pair of sexy Santa boxer shorts. Why did you do that if you despised him? You are a mature woman, a Garda.
The Garda said she had absolutely no idea but said it was the mildest item compared to the many secret Santa items of “trash” that were bought by everyone for the party.
The second female Garda told how she was also sexually assaulted and harassed by Garda Corby.
She alleged that her relationship with Garda Corby gradually got worse and that he constantly made reference to her weight and sex-life.
She revealed how on one occasion how he took her phone and wrote lewd text messages to male friends.
“He wrote “I’m at home on the couch. Do you want a ride or something like that,” she said.
.She listed three different occasions on which she claimed she was sexually assaulted. On of these he put his hand inside her Garda vest and touched her breast
Another Garda told the court how, although it was banter, Corby sometimes took matters too far.
“Kevin could be perceived as a bit of a messer but I thought they all got on.
“I’m sure there were comments but I wouldn’t have perceived them or thought much of them but coming from their point of view….
“I didn’t have a problem with Kevin Corby. I do remember telling him that there was a line there and not to cross it,” he said.
Judge John O’Hagan said there is always a bit of banter.But he asked the Garda “You were looking from a male point of view. But if you were a female Garda?”
The Garda replied “If it was consistent it could be seen as a bit more than banter,” he said.
Another Garda revealed he saw Corby sending text messages from the female Garda’s phone. “Once was funny but not when it kept going,” he said.
He also admitted that he heard Corby saying things of a sexual nature.
“At the start it was passed off but it kept going and going.
“I told Kevin to relax. There was no badness in him but he kept it going. He was known as Cheeky Corby.
The trial continues