Homophobic attack victim reports Garda to police watchdog
A victim of a homophobic attack in Dublin has reported the Garda to an oversight body after it claimed he could have provoked his attackers.
Marcin Malinowski, a Polish immigrant living in the city, has submitted a formal complaint to the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission claiming the force failed to take his attack seriously because he was gay.
The 38-year-old was badly beaten by a group of around ten teenagers in July, subjected to homophobic abuse and repeatedly struck with metal bars.
The complaint relates to how the Garda handled his case.
He claims that after being saved by a passerby, who scared off the attackers, he tried to call officers while in the ambulance but was unable to get through.
When he was able to speak to the force, it’s alleged the Garda didn’t interview him about his attack until August 4 – four days after the incident.
“No one came to interview me in the hospital for 24 hours, at at time when I might have remembered in vivid details things like the registration of the car,” he said.
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He added that in the first meeting he had with police, he was asked: “Are you really sure it’s a hate crime?”
On a second discussion with the Garda, he claims an officer asked if he had done anything to provoke the attack – suggesting he was in Phoenix Park looking to hook up with other men.
He said: “What she was really saying was that I was in the park meeting guys for sex, making it out as if I was at fault even though I was on my bike going home.”
The final straw for Mr Malinowski was when a letter containing personal details about the incident was sent to his house, that he shares with a number of other people, and was not properly sealed or marked as confidential.
“The envelope containing some personal details and those contacts wasn’t even sealed or glued. It meant that anyone in the house I share with could have opened it and read it,” he said.
“The whole thing was shabby and casual.”
A spokesman for the Garda said it could not comment on the case due to the ongoing investigation.
Marcin Malinowski’s surname has been changed in this story to protect his identity.