ABUSER’S DOWNFALL |
How ex garda Paul Moody was in line for promotion before coercive control exposed
He had carried out a four-year campaign of harassment using threats, assaults and coercive control over his cancer-stricken partner.
Thu 28 Jul 2022 at 08:30
The former garda who carried out an appalling campaign of coercive control against his terminally ill partner had expected to be promoted to sergeant before his crimes came to light.
Instead, Paul Moody has begun a jail sentence as prisoner number 116829, separated from other inmates for his own safety.
Moody (42) has spent his second night in Mountjoy Prison ahead of his expected transfer to a special protection unit in either Arbour Hill Prison or the Midlands Prison in the coming days. He had been in line for promotion after having served around 20 years in the force.
However, that path was swiftly blocked after the full scale of the horrific allegations against Moody emerged last year.
On Tuesday, Moody was jailed for three years and three months at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. He had carried out a four-year campaign of harassment using threats, assaults and coercive control over his cancer-stricken partner.
He resigned from the force this week, but there was outrage yesterday when it emerged he will be entitled to some of his garda pension.
However, a source said the benefits would be “only a portion of what he would be entitled to had he completed his service in full”.
Moody began his sentence in Mountjoy, in a single cell in the jail’s committal unit.
He was checked every 15 minutes by prison officers during the course of the night – a common safeguard for any new inmate.
Moody was expected to be moved to a special protection wing yesterday, ahead of his move to another facility, where he will also be kept apart from the prison population for his safety reasons.
“It’s not just because of the terrible nature of his crimes that he needs to be kept in a protective regime, it’s also because of his profession. As a former garda, he would be under threat from some prisoners,” a source said.
Moody would normally be transferred quickly from Mountjoy, but the country’s prisons are at 96pc capacity – the highest level since before the Covid-19 pandemic – with 4,028 inmates nationwide.
“This slows a lot of things down in terms of logistics,” the source said.
“If things were not so busy, it is likely he would have been transferred earlier, but it will happen in the next couple of days.”
Moody spent most of his career working at Donnybrook and Irishtown garda stations on Dublin’s southside, apart from a stint in the now defunct Organised Crime Unit (OCU). Sources said he was not popular with many of his colleagues.
“Of course, it’s easy to say this now, but he was not well got,” an officer who worked with Moody for several years,” said.
“It was always considered that he cared far too much about socialising and going to nightclubs and so on, as well as being more obsessed about his appearance than his job. It definitely seemed he was burning the candle at both ends, with his life outside the force and all the socialising.
“But when the details emerged about this case last year, it was clear he was far worse than that – he was a ‘street angel and house devil’, as the saying goes.”
Another source, who attended secondary school with Moody in the south Dublin suburb of Templeogue, said he was “always a black sheep, always running into trouble”.
“He comes from a very decent family, some of whom work in the force. They must be disgusted at his behaviour,” the source added.
The investigation into Moody was led by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI).
The Sunday World has learned GNBCI detectives interviewed other former girlfriends of his, and people who had personal dealings with him.
“It seems he also treated other women badly over the years, in terms of acting in a controlling manner, but there are no plans for any fresh charges against him at this stage,” another source said.
“The profile built up of this individual shows he was, to say the least, a very unpleasant character.”
After around 20 years in the force, it seemed likely last year that Moody was going to be promoted to sergeant after a number of unsuccessful applications.
However, when the allegations against him surfaced, it is understood Garda Commissioner Drew Harris decided he should be taken off the promotion list.
Earlier this week in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Martin Nolan said Moody engaged in a catalogue of “humiliating” criminal behaviour toward his 43-year-old ex-partner.
In a four-year period, he sent more than 30,000 messages, which were described in court as threatening, vile and abusive.
In one 14-hour period in July 2018, he sent her 652 messages, amounting to one every 90 seconds.