Friday 23 February 2018

Defence reminds jury of priest libel

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE jury in a trial of a man accused of indecently assaulting children was reminded of the Fr Kevin Reynolds case yesterday where a priest was accused of fathering a child which turned out to be "complete fabrication".

A verdict is expected today in the case of a 51-year-old man accused of abusing children up to three decades ago.

The man, who cannot yet be identified for legal reasons, is due to appear before Judge Alice Doyle at Kilkenny Circuit Criminal Court for a sixth day this morning.

The accused, who is not from Kilkenny, has pleaded not guilty to the 33 charges of indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault on four children aged from 10-15 years between 1981 and 1993.

While summing up the case yesterday, defence barrister John O'Kelly asked the jury "to be careful" when considering the allegations against the accused.

He said it was "very easy" for sportsmen when they "rise to great heights" that there may be an "element of begrudgery".

Mr O'Kelly also referred to the Fr Reynolds case where a priest had been "accused of fathering a child out in Africa".

"That turned out to be complete fabrication," he added.

The accused denied that he punished young boys for misbehaving by indecently assaulting them. The jury will resume deliberations this morning.

Irish Independent

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