Tuesday 20 August 2019

Boy (15) charged with raping teenage girl in Dublin park

The Children's Court, Smithfield
The Children's Court, Smithfield

Tom Tuite

A teenage boy is facing trial accused of raping a young girl at a park in Dublin.

The youth, now aged 15 but who was 14 at the time, appeared at the Dublin Children's Court today after he was charged.

He is accused of raping the girl (14) on a date earlier this year contrary to the Criminal Law (Rape) Act, 1981.

Judge John O'Connor heard that the boy was arrested this morning by arrangement and he was charged in the presence of his mother at a south Dublin Garda station.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, "was cautioned and the arrest was explained to him in ordinary language at which he confirmed he understood", the judge was told.

In reply to the charge the boy said, "No comment" before he was given a copy of the charge sheet and then brought to the court.

A detective sergeant confirmed that a file had been submitted to the Garda juvenile diversion office and to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

He said the DPP  has directed that the case "will go forward on indictment". This means the youth will be tried before a judge and jury at the Central Criminal Court.

Judge O'Connor was told the complainant was aged 14. The detective sergeant confirmed that the teen's mother "made arrangements with gardai to produce her son at the garda, which she did".

There was no objection to bail but Judge O'Connor granted a request from gardai to impose bail conditions on the boy.

"I am going to explain this to you, you are charged with a very serious charge which I do not have jurisdiction over; it automatically goes to the Central Criminal Court", the judge told the boy.

The judge then told him he must obey a 10pm to 7am curfew and warned that he cannot have contact directly or indirectly with witnesses or the girl. He explained that this included calling, texting, internet contact or through another person.

The boy, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was accompanied to court by his mother. Judge O'Connor told them gardai must be notified of any change of address and the boy must be available if gardai call to his home during the curfew hours.

He also said gardai must be able to contact the boy on mobile phone at all times. The teenager's mother has already provided gardai with the phone number.

The teenager nodded when he was asked by the judge if he understood.

He nodded again and quietly said "yes" when asked if he understood the consequences of breaking the bail terms.  The youth was warned that would result in being remanded in custody.

The boy was  released on bail and ordered to appear again on a date in January when it is expected he will be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone said there was consent to the adjournment date and his application for free legal aid to be granted to the boy was granted.

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