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Man and woman charged with over 200 offences - including rape - involving five children

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A man and a woman have been brought before a court in Kerry charged with over 200 offences involving a total of five children.

The garda investigation had taken place over three years and involved a number of locations, the court heard.

The matters alleged were "very serious" and the alleged harm "grave", the District Court sitting was told during a hearing that took almost an hour.

Strict reporting restrictions have been imposed so as not to identify any of parties.

Investigating officer Sergeant Bridget Foley gave evidence of arresting the man at 7.10 am on Tuesday, November 12th, to charge him with offences for sexual assault and child cruelty between the years 2009 to 2016.

The man is accused of 112 counts in the case of one child. These include 17 counts of rape, 17 accounts of aggressive sexual assault, and 16 counts of sexual assault.

He is also accused of 28 counts of neglect and 28 of wilful cruelty against the child.

There were five counts of sexual exploitation under the Child Trafficking and Pornographic Act and one count of a threat to kill, under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the State Act, the sergeant detailed.

The man is facing 22 counts of neglect involving four other children.

The age range of the children at the outset of some of the alleged offences was very young, the court was told.

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Sgt Foley said the state were objecting to bail in his case because of the "very, very serious charges". All the allegations related to harm of a grave degree, she said.

The man was not gainfully employed and gardai believed he would leave the jurisdiction, the sergeant also said, objecting to bail.

There had been a three-year garda investigation, beginning in May 2016, the court was told.

Applying for bail, the man’s solicitor Nuala Liston said the man had not left the jurisdiction since first interviewed (January 2017); he had no current passport and had no convictions and had "a blemish free character", Ms Liston said.

Judge David Waters said he was granting bail but with quite strict conditions given the seriousness of the alleged offences.

The conditions are that he must sign on daily at garda station, surrender all travel documentation and make no contact with the alleged victims or with witnesses.

The man is to reside at an address handed into court.

Judge Waters imposed reporting restrictions saying nothing was to be reported identifying the parties or the location of the alleged offences.

Sgt Foley, called by Sgt Miriam Mulhall Nolan, gave evidence of the woman’s arrest also on Tuesday for a total of 79 offences including sexual assault and child cruelty.

Th allegations include some 16 counts of sexual assault; five of sexual exploitation and 36 of child neglect in the case of one child; and there are 22 counts of child neglect involving four children.

There was no objection to bail in the case of the woman, but conditions were being sought, Sgt Foley said.

Conditions similar to that of the accused man were imposed by Judge Waters, as were reporting restrictions.

The man and woman are both in their forties and have known each other with some time, the court was told.

The matter has been adjourned to next Tuesday for the book of evidence.


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