Sunday 17 June 2018

Lawyers for man 'who lured boy (12) from Luas stop' argue accused should not be named

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Andrew Phelan

A JUDGE has ruled that a man accused of luring a 12-year-old boy from a Luas stop to a hotel and offering him money to touch him can be named - but with a six-day stay on the order.

Judge David McHugh made his decision after defence lawyers sought an order preventing the media from identifying the married father-of-three.

As a result of the stay, the accused cannot be named pending further legal submissions.

The man (51) is charged with sexually exploiting a child at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart on October 20, 2016.

The offence is under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.

He was returned for trial on the charge at Blanchardstown District Court yesterday.

Today, his solicitor John O'Doherty asked Judge McHugh to clarify what reporting restrictions applied in the case.

The judge said the man could be named in the media as long as the alleged victim was not identified.

The man, who was not in court today, is on bail pending his trial and has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

Judge McHugh said his understanding of the law was that as long as the alleged injured party was not identified, he had “no difficulty” with the identification of the accused.

“My one and only purpose is that the alleged victim is not identified,” he said. “I am absolutely satisfied that… as long as the alleged injured party is not identified in these proceedings, then it is open to the media to follow the law in this matter. I don’t believe there have been any breaches in that regard.”

Mr O’Doherty said he was seeking reporting restrictions on the naming of his client, arguing that his right to a fair trial would be prejudiced.

The judge repeated that his view was if the accused only was identified and the alleged injured party remained unnamed and unidentified, “I believe the law has been observed.”

Mr O’Doherty asked the judge to put a stay on his order, to allow him to take more advice on it.

Judge McHugh said he would put a stay on the identification of the accused until next Thursday, when the case will be mentioned in court again.

Previously, the court heard it would be alleged the boy was approached at a west Dublin Luas stop by the accused who asked him for directions to a nearby hotel.

Det Gda Kate Flood added that the court would hear that the man offered to show the boy his hotel room and they went together to the room.

She said it would be further alleged when they got to the room the man offered €50 to the 12-year-old if he touched him. She said the boy left the room and contacted gardaí.

Det Gda Flood said later that night the man spoke to three gardaí and said the boy had wanted to see the room because he heard someone famous had stayed there.

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