Tuesday 25 June 2019

Father-of-four accused of violent sex attacks against prostitutes in Dublin granted bail

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Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A father-of-four has been accused of carrying out two violent sex attacks on prostitutes working in the city.

The accused, a 31-year-old tradesman, is alleged to have imprisoned, stripped, beaten and sexually assaulted one woman, who escaped out a window and ran naked onto a main road, where she flagged down a taxi.

A court heard he allegedly pulled clumps of hair out of a second prostitute’s head and raped her, as well as robbing both women.

Judge Bryan Smyth remanded him in custody with consent to bail. Under bail conditions, he must not engage with any escort agencies or websites.

The Dublin man, who cannot be named, is charged with aggravated sexual assault, false imprisonment, robbery and assault causing harm to one woman at an apartment in north Dublin in June, 2016.

He is charged with rape, assault and robbery of the second woman at a city centre flat in February 4, 2018.

Detective Garda Anne Power told Dublin District Court she arrested the accused yesterday at 3.40pm and charged him with four counts.

His replies to the charges after caution were: “It’s false”; “it’s a false allegation”; “it’s false”; and “false, it’s all false.”

Det Sgt Liam Donoghue said the accused made no reply to the remaining four charges this morning.

Det Sgt Donoghue said in the first incident, it was alleged a prostitute had made an arrangement by phone to meet the accused and they had consensual sex. Afterwards, a dispute arose as to her nationality. It was alleged the accused referred to her as a Romanian national, which she was not.

She then got a phone call from another client, Det Sgt Donoghue said. At this stage, she was attacked, her clothing was removed, she was bitten on her breast, hit a number of times and began to scream.

The accused climbed on top of her and slapped her on the face, the garda said.

The alleged victim opened the door and tried to run from the flat but he dragged her back, picked her up and threw her inside the flat, it was alleged.

He grabbed her by the hair and banged her head on the door twice, Det Sgt Donoghue continued. It was alleged that he then demanded the cash contents of her wallet - euros and dollars - before pushing her up against a sink and aggressively digitally penetrating her, causing her “great pain.” She was also punched in the back of the head.

The woman escaped out a window and, still naked, ran out onto a main road, where she flagged down a taxi and was taken to a garda station.

In the second incident, it was alleged the accused discussed having anal sex without a condom with a second prostitute. She would not consent to this and consensual sex with a condom then took place.

In the course of this, the condom was removed and she objected. It was alleged she was then raped and assaulted.

The alleged victim had two clumps of her hair pulled out of her head and had cash stolen from her.

The court heard the prosecution’s evidence included mobile phone records and an EvoFIT by one of the alleged victims.

Defence solicitor Cahir O’Higgins accepted the allegations were “serious and ugly,” but asked Judge Smyth to grant bail.

The court heard the accused had got engaged to his partner after he was first arrested, but the relationship and since broken down. His family would support him and provide accommodation.

Judge Smyth granted bail subject to an independent surety of €10,000, half of which is to be cash.

The accused must observe a curfew and refrain from engaging with escort agencies or websites.

The accused will appear in Cloverhill District Court on February 19.

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