DPP letter a bad-quality photocopy, forensic expert tells court

Irish Times

Nicola Donnelly

Fri, Feb 27, 2015

A forensic expert has told the trial of a detective accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions that the letter was a “bad quality photocopied document”.

Insp Michael Moore, who has completed forensic training courses with the US Secret Service and London Metropolitan Police and has 20 years’ experience in the forensic field, testified that he was asked to determine if the letter, dated January 14th, 2004, allegedly from the office of the DPP, was genuine or if it was produced using parts of other documents.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15th, 2009 at Bray Garda station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda station and at Harcourt Street Garda station between June 21st and 22nd, 2011.

The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP, dated January 14th, 2009.

The prosecution alleges Garda McGowan forged the letter to “hoodwink” gardaí who were reviewing whether she had acted properly in investigating allegations of sexual abuse by a priest of a teenage girl.

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