Sunday 18 August 2019

Man accused of almost 400 counts of child sex abuse appears in court

Photo: Stock picture
Photo: Stock picture
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A MAN has appeared in court accused of nearly 400 counts of sexual abuse of children in the midlands over a six-year period.

The accused (38) was extradited to Ireland from the US and brought before a court this evening.

Judge Kevin Kilrane refused to grant bail and sent him forward for trial.

He faces a total of 394 charges related to the alleged abuse of two boys in the 2000s.

The man, who cannot be named, is charged with 210 counts of sexual assault, 177 counts of rape, three counts of assault causing harm and one count each of attempted rape, false imprisonment, harassment and criminal damage to property.

Detective Garda Damien McGovern told a special court sitting in the midlands he arrested the accused by warrant at Dublin Airport at 8.32am this morning following his extradition from the US.

He was formally charged at a midlands garda station at 10.15am and evidence was handed in to court by certificate given the volume of charges.

Two books of evidence were served on him - he is being sent forward to the circuit court in relation to one of the alleged victims and to the Central Criminal Court on the other.

Det Gda McGovern objected to bail, citing the nature and seriousness of the charges. He said they carried potential sentences on conviction ranging from five years to life imprisonment.

The man's solicitor Frank Gearty applied for bail on his behalf, saying the accused was presumed innocent and was prepared to abide by conditions.

The man also gave evidence in support of his bail application, confirming that he would agree to conditions if granted bail.

Judge Kilrane refused to grant bail due to the seriousness of the charges and remanded the accused in custody.

The books of evidence were served on the accused by a garda sergeant.

The judge gave the accused the formal warning that he must provide details of any alibi he intends to rely on to the prosecution within 14 days. The court heard the judge did not need to make an order for disclosure of garda interview videos because the accused had not been interviewed.

He remanded him in custody to appear before the circuit court on a date later this month on one book of evidence, and before the present sittings of the Central Criminal Court on the other.

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