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Court told of deletions to Áras Attracta assault charge videos

Monday, 4th January, 2016 6:36pm

Court told of deletions to Áras Attracta assault charge videos

A NUMBER of video clips from a camera covertly installed in Bungalow 3 of the Áras Attracta care centre in Swinford were deleted unknown to gardai, it was revealed today (Monday).

This revelation emerged on the opening day of the trial in Castlebar of five care workers who are accused of assaulting a number of residents at the facility in November 2014.

 Some 190 hours of video footage was filmed covertly by RTÉ in the common area of the HSE-run centre between November 3 and November 19, 2014.

 As a result of the video evidence six care workers have been charged with assault.

 All but one, Joan Gill,  Dublin Road, Swinford, are pleading not guilty. Ms. Gill, who has pleaded guilty to five assault charges, is expected to be sentenced later this week.

 The five other accused -  Pat McLoughlin, Mayfield, Claremorris, Anna Ywusong Botsimbo, Lowpark, Charlestown, Kathleen King, Knockshanbally, Straide, Foxford, Christine Delaney, Lissatava, Hollymount, and  Joan Walsh, Carrowilkeen, Curry, Co. Sligo - are pleading not guilty to a single charge of assault each.

 A senior garda officer told the opening day of the trial that he only became aware of files being deleted from a  camera put in place by RTÉ's investigations unit earlier in court.

 Detective Sergeant James Carroll said his understanding on leaving RTÉ in December, 2014, with footage provided  him by the station was that there had been no deletions to footage taken by a fixed camera in the common area of the HSE-run facility.

 At the request of a lawyer for one of the accused,  a copy of the original hard drive used to store collected video data is to be made available when the court resumes at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) .

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