PSNI man ‘surprised’ by Donnelly injury

A member of the PSNI yesterday told Derry Magistrates Court on Friday that he could not explain how leading dissident Gary Donnelly had sustained a ‘three-way spiral fracture’ to his left arm after being arrested.

The PSNI man was giving evidence on the second day of Mr Donnelly’s trial on charges of obstructing police, resisting arrest and assaulting police in November 2007, hours after having been acquitted of similar charges.

He said he had been one of those who stopped Donnelly on Water Street on the night in question. He said that when he and his colleagues approached the defendant and two other men they had walked away “briskly”.

He said that Mr Donnelly was “irate” and shouted at police when they said they were going to search him.

The officer said he had “ushered” Mr Donnelly back on to the footpath. He claimed Mr Donnelly then launched a “punching frenzy” at one of his colleagues before both men grabbed him by his arms.

At that point, Mr Donnelly shouted that his arm was broken, but he saw no sign that Mr Donnelly was in distress.

He said he did not “see anything out of the ordinary” in the struggle.

When he was told that on release from custody the accused went straight to hospital accompanied by his solicitor, he said he could not explain how Mr Donnelly came by the injury.

The hearing continues.


Meanwhile, proposals which could see the DNA profiles of those acquitted of engaging in armed actions retained for life have been criticised by Republican Sinn Fein.

The British policy would also see the retention of DNA profiles of those -- including minors -- never charged in relation to such activities.

A spokesperson said “Whilst no-one had any confidence that fingerprints and DNA profiles were ever destroyed, it is clear that an ever more totalitarian state no longer feels that it should even pay lip-service to the rights of individuals.

“Such developments can only be a precursor to the eventual storage of every person’s biometric details by the Orwellian state.

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