It was another day of dramatic developments at the Morris Tribunal. In an emotional statement, Detective Sergeant John White denied breaking wind in a suspect’s face. “Read my lips,” said Sgt White. “I did not fart at that woman.”
The statement followed earlier admissions by another detective in the Donegal division. Garda John Dooley confirmed that two women, Roisin McConnell and Katrina Brolly, were called lying bitches, one was forced to pray to her dead father while the other had her hair pulled as gardai accused Mrs McConnell’s husband Mark of murder. Both women were forced to look at graphic post-mortem photographs of the dead man’s body. Garda Dooley has given a sworn statement admitting that he, along with Sgt White and a female garda, abused the women in custody.
Admitting that he had lied to the Tribunal, Sgt White said that both women were abused and mistreated during their time in custody. He went on to state that they were blameless and their treatment while in custody was inexcusable. He said his role was to break the suspects and that the strident, aggressive methods he used were similar to those employed by the Gardai in investigations everywhere he had worked. For many years previously, Sgt White was based in Dublin.
However, Sgt White, clearly close to tears, said in a whisper, “I might have done a lot of bad things in my time, but I didn’t fart.” After a pause during which he withdrew behind a screen to collect himself, an emotional White revealed to a hushed courtroom that, due to a troublesome condition, he is unable to fart. “It’s not physical,” he confided, “It’s emotional. When I was younger, I used to fart the whole time. Morning, noon and night. But not any more. It’s ruining my life and I just don’t know what to do about it.”
At this point, Sgt White became visibly upset, and the Chairman adjourned the Tribunal for the afternoon. Thanking Sgt White for his frankness, Mr Justice Morris remarked that if all men with this problem could speak so openly about it, perhaps society would show more understanding towards this distressing complaint. Perhaps, Mr Morris suggested, Sgt White’s aggressive, bullying behaviour was simply an attempt to compensate for his inability to fart.
In a further development, it has emerged that Sgt White is shortly to travel to Guantanamo Bay as part of a special research project into the use of cabbage in interrogation.