File photo Sasko Lazarov/

Trial for Rihanna's former bodyguard, who is accused of harassing garda, delayed

Geoffrey Keating allegedly sent messages to the guard after being given his private phone number.

THE TRIAL OF a former head of security for singer Rihanna, who has been accused of harassing a garda in Dublin, has been delayed.

Geoffrey Keating (39) allegedly sent messages to the garda using the Viber app after being given his private phone number. Keating, of Woodbank Drive, Finglas, had pleaded guilty earlier to one count of harassing Garda Sergeant Brendan Carey from the accused’s home address on 21 August 2016.

The non-jury trial at Dublin District Court was due to be heard on 8 May but it was adjourned until yesterday when Judge Bernadette Owens was told that Keating was not present because he was in hospital.

She adjourned the case for two weeks, when it will be listed for a new trial date to be set. Keating will have to bring a medical report to confirm what his condition was, she said.

Defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe told the judge his client was maintaining his not-guilty plea. Hanahoe said the trial could last one day but if Keating accepted certain advice it could take less than an hour.

Keating had told the court earlier that he had obtained evidence under the Freedom of Information Act.

There are to be 17 prosecution witnesses and the defence have said it will call two witnesses to testify during the trial. There will also be a video of a garda interview.

Complaint to GSOC

A complaint made by Keating to An Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was “not to his benefit,” Hanahoe told the court at an earlier stage.

Detective Sergeant Gavin Ross of Finglas Garda Station has told the court the offence allegedly happened on 21 August 2016. A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and directions were received on 9 October of that year.

On 20 November 2016, Keating appeared on the charge at Blanchardstown District Court and he appeared there again on a number of occasions.

Keating required a hearing date, meaning he was then contesting the charge. The case then moved to the Dublin District Court in the Criminal Courts of Justice building in the city centre.

Keating was due to face his trial there on 5 September last but he did not appear and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Ross said that this warrant was executed on 19 September and the case was put back to 10 October, when Keating pleaded guilty.

The case was adjourned for a week and a probation report was ordered, and it was put back until December for sentencing and then adjourned until a date in January, when Keating changed his plea back to not guilty.

Keating worked as a bodyguard for Rihanna in 2012 and 2013.

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