independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

DPP accepts man's guilty pleas over attacks on two little girls

The Director of Public Prosecutions has agreed to accept guilty pleas from the man charged with raping two little girls in Athlone.

The 30-year-old has yet to be returned to the Central Criminal Court but it emerged yesterday that the signed pleas to all charges are acceptable to the DPP and the book of evidence is not required to be served to the accused man.

He has been on remand at Castlerea Prison, Harristown, Co Roscommon, since early October.

At the request of his solicitor Gearoid Geraghty, the accused has been on suicide watch at the prison.

The accused man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faces a total of five charges; raping one of the girls three times and raping the second child twice. All of the offences took place in Athlone on September 28.

The victims are aged six years old and nine years old.

The girls had been attending a birthday party in the area and the alarm was raised when they were discovered missing. It later emerged that both of the girls had been raped at a nearby house.

At Harristown District Court last month, Mr Geraghty confirmed that his client had waived his right to the book of evidence.

He said that his client had indicated he would be pleading guilty to the charges when the case came before the Central Criminal Court.

In court yesterday, Mr Geraghty advised Judge Geoffrey Browne that the DPP was accepting signed pleas from the accused in respect of the charges before the court.

He also confirmed that his client was waiving his right to see the book of evidence against him.

The case is due for mention at Harristown District Court next month.

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