Wednesday 17 July 2019

Man faces 109 counts of child sex abuse and exploitation

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A man has appeared in court charged with 109 counts of sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls over a four-year period.

The 51-year-old is alleged to have sexually assaulted and exploited at least three victims in incidents at locations in Dublin between 2011 and 2015.

The case against him was adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence when he appeared before Dublin District Court. Judge Michael Walsh granted bail on condition that the accused has no contact with the alleged victims or witnesses by electronic or any other means.

The man, who cannot be named, is charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of children and sexual assault. A garda sergeant told Judge Walsh evidence of the accused's arrest, charge and caution had been handed in to court. This included his replies to each charge.

Sentence

The accused was already in custody serving a lengthy sentence, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Brian Coveney applied for bail and Det Gda Annelisa Hannigan said there was no objection, subject to conditions. A State solicitor said that the DPP was directing trial on indictment on all charges.

Judge Walsh told the accused he was charged with "a lot" of offences and asked if he understood. "Yes, your honour," he replied.

Mr Coveney said there was consent to an eight-week adjournment. Judge Walsh granted bail in the defendant's own bond of €1,000, with no cash lodgment required.

He then read out the conditions of bail to the accused, saying he was to have no contact directly or indirectly with any alleged victims or witnesses by post, email or any electronic means.

He asked the accused whether he understood the conditions. "Yes, your honour," he said again.

The judge granted free legal aid after Mr Coveney made an application, saying the man was a serving prisoner.

The judge said that the usual reporting restrictions applied, given the nature of the charges and as there were a number of children involved.

The accused is due to appear in court again next month and will be sent for trial when the book of evidence is ready. He has not yet entered a plea to any of the charges.

Irish Independent

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