Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Garda charged with corruption

A former Garda has been charged with corruption and breaching the data protection act.

Daniel Tarrant appeared before Navan District Court where he was also charged with unlawful possession of a single-barrel shotgun. The court heard the 49-year-old, of Doon in Mallow, Co Cork, said not guilty to each of the three charges when arrested by detectives in Navan Garda Station on Tuesday morning.

It is alleged that in Finglas Garda Station on July 16 2009, the former Garda acted corruptly and abused his position in the force by passing information to his girlfriend - a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Under the charge of Section 8 of the Prevention Corruption Act, the ex-officer is accused of passing information in return for a gift or advantage.

He is also accused of breaching the data protection act on a date unknown between November 2008 and May 2009, and of being in possession of an unlicensed Gamba shotgun in October 2009.

Mr Tarrant's girlfriend Helena Bruton, who was not a member of the force, was also brought before the court accused of receiving data at Finglas Garda Station on July 16 2009.

The charge against Ms Bruton also alleges that she passed on the information to a third party. The court heard the 41-year-old, of Cluain Ri in Ashbourne, Co Meath, replied not guilty when charged at Navan Garda Station.

Their solicitor, Cahir O'Higgins said the charges were two-and-a-half years old and that the issue of delay would be raised in the absence of an explanation. He said one charge against the former garda under the prevention of corruption act was very serious.

"He is charged with something that is breaking new ground in Irish law," he added.

Judge Patrick McMahon granted bail on the co-accused's own bonds of 200 euro each. Both were granted legal aid and sent forward for trial to the current sitting of Dublin Circuit Court. Outside the courthouse Mr O'Higgins said the pair would be "vigorously contesting" the charges.

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