Sunday 21 January 2018

DNA samples recovered from bloodstains linked teenager to sexual assault on girl (6)

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Stock Picture

Tom Tuite

DNA samples recovered from bloodstains linked a teenager to a sexual assault on a six-year-old girl, a court was told today.

The youth, now aged 18, is charged with the offence which is alleged to have occurred in Co Kildare in 2014.

He appeared again at the Dublin Children’s Court on Monday for a preliminary hearing to decide his trial venue. Judge John O’Connor refused jurisdiction and a book of evidence was served on the teenager.

He was then returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, which has tougher sentencing powers, and will face his next hearing on May 19 next.

It was third court appearance since he was charged in February, then aged 17 and still a juvenile.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was urging the court to refuse jurisdiction, state solicitor Tom Conlon said.

Garda Kevin Flynn gave an outline of the prosecution’s evidence and told Judge O’Connor that gardai received a call from the girl’s mother. She and her daughter had gone to a hospital in Dublin and it had been alleged the girl had been sexually assaulted by a teenager who lived in the same neighbourhood.

Garda Flynn said a statement was taken from the girl who alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by the defendant.

It was alleged that DNA belonging to the youth, then aged 15, was recovered from the girl’s clothes. “The blood found on the defendant’s trousers 100 per cent belonged to the injured party,” the garda said.

He agreed with defence counsel Keith Brannigan that the teenager, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, has not come to Garda attention since.

Judge O’Connor said it was undoubtedly a serious and difficult case. Refusing jurisdiction, he noted the recommendation of the DPP and after hearing the summary of the evidence he said it was significant that the girl was of a tender age.

The youth, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was warned he had to obey bail terms stating he cannot have any contact with the girl and must notify gardai if he is planning to change address.

He also noted from the teen’s barrister that the defence will raise the issue of delay in charging the teenager and said that was a matter to be dealt with by the trial judge.

Earlier, the court was told the youth replied “no comment” when the charge was put to him.

He has been told he risks being remanded in custody if he breaks the bail conditions.

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