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9th June 2023, 18:01

Verdict in McGrail trial now expected Monday - judge says it is not a matter to be rushed

Published by GBC News

No verdict has been given yet in the McGrail trial.

It is now expected on Monday.

The 56 year old former Commissioner of Police denies one count of sexual assault dating back to 2018.

He is said to have grabbed a female officer's bottom in an incident which she said left her feeling "shocked and disgusted".

Closing arguments were heard at court earlier in the day.

Stipendiary Magistrate Charles Pitto told the court it was a serious matter that deserved attention and detail.

He said “I feel for you Mr McGrail, your family and also for the complainant but I don’t feel it is a matter that can be rushed."

He will now consider the matter over the weekend.

Prosecution lawyer Johann Fernandez said essentially, the case is a "he said, she said" scenario. He told the court there is no evidence the woman is lying, and that a delay in reporting the matter is no indication of false allegations. He said she has been consistent with her version of events throughout, and only wants to seek justice.

Whilst he acknowledged there are other issues surrounding Ian McGrail - namely the inquiry - he said they have nothing to do with the woman, and that “she’s almost been caught in the splash”.

Mr Fernandez reiterated evidence that shows she has been offered nothing in return for her complaint except protections under the whistleblowing law.

He said the complainant has been through an ordeal - and that if it was simply to get a transfer out of the RGP, then she has already made other allegations regarding the police that would have afforded her whistleblowing protections that wouldn’t have put her at the centre of a very public trial.

Mr Fernandez admitted the scene of the alleged incident was a busy location, but said if the woman was lying, she could have said it took place elsewhere.

In a lengthy address to the court, Mr Gomez said his client “completely denies” the sexual assault and pointed out the “many contradictions” in the woman’s evidence.

He pointed out that she was a trained police officer, and yet made no notes about the incident at the time.

Mr Gomez also said the fact she may have said something to her mother does not mean it happened.

He said it was “implausible” for his client to risk everything by committing the assault, equating it to “professional suicide”.

Mr Gomez spoke of the “terrible blight on Mr McGrail and his family” and asked for the matter to be brought to an end by the judge acquitting him.