Sunday 22 September 2019

Man accused of sexually assaulting girl allowed to return home for Christmas

Stock photo
Stock photo

Stephen Maguire

A man accused of the sexual assault of a girl has been allowed to return to his local area over Christmas.

Gardaí had objected to the man's bail conditions being varied for fear he would try to contact the alleged victim.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lives in a remote part of Co Donegal.

He had been ordered to live in Letterkenny in recent months until his trial and was ordered not to live near the alleged victim or have any contact with her.

However, he applied to have his bail conditions varied so he can stay with his family from Christmas Eve until St Stephen's Day.

Gardaí told the court they were objecting to the man's application on a number of grounds.

A Garda sergeant said he feared the man would try to contact the alleged victim if allowed to return home.

He said there was an allegation the accused tried to contact the alleged victim to ask her to persuade her mother to drop the case against him. He is also alleged to have contacted her by Snapchat.

"I would have a fear that he would contact her and put her under pressure [to] withdraw the allegations," he added.

A barrister for the accused made submissions that everybody in the locality knew the man, and it would not be in his interest to make contact.

Having considered the matter, Judge John Aylmer said he was "going to take a chance on him for a very short period of time".

He set down a number of conditions on which the man could return to his local area for the Christmas holiday.

Irish Independent

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