Sunday 26 January 2020

Married couple sent for trial accused of assault and cruelty to daughter (9)

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A MARRIED couple have been sent for trial accused of assault and cruelty to their nine year old daughter, who was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

The girl’s mother (35) and father (37), were charged after the girl suffered a head wound as well as "burns, bites, swelling, bruising.”

The girl was brought to Temple Street Children's Hospital from her Dublin home on July 2 last year.

Judge Bryan Smyth sent her parents forward for trial when a book of evidence was served on them at Dublin District Court today.

Both husband and wife, who cannot be named, were charged with assault causing harm and child cruelty under the Children Act.

The couple, who are non Irish nationals, were remanded in custody having previously been refused bail after gardai said it was feared they would flee the country if released.

Today, a State solicitor said the book of evidence was ready and it was served on the accused.

Assisted by an interpreter, they both stood as the judge gave them the formal notice that they must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days.

Judge Smyth also ordered the prosecution to furnish the defence with copies of the accused’s garda interview videos.

He extended free legal aid to cover both junior and senior counsel following an application by defence solicitor Robert Purcell.

The state solicitor said the request for two counsel on legal aid was “not unreasonable.”

Judge Smyth sent the accused forward to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, to appear on a date later this month.

No new bail application was made.

Previously, Det Sgt Eoin McDonnell said it was alleged the accused provided a version of events surrounding the girl’s injury that had been refuted and disproven by evidence including phone data.

It was alleged a false version of the accused's whereabouts was provided and that they were aware their daughter was sick on the date in question for several hours before contacting the emergency services.

The girl had suffered burns, bites, swelling and bruising that were not accidental or self-inflicted and not consistent with the version of events given by the accused, it was alleged.

Det Gda Aoife O’Brien had said when charged with assault, the mother “replied that she choked.” The garda said the accused clarified that she herself "felt choked and claustrophobic.”

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