Sunday 17 December 2017

Mum to face Circuit Court trial for child cruelty and assault

Tom Tuite

A MOTHER is to face Circuit Court trial accused of neglect and cruel treatment of three of her young children as well as seriously assaulting one of them.

The woman, a a foreign national who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had been charged at Dublin District Court last month with three counts of child cruelty under Section 246 of the 2001 Children Act.

She is accused of wilfully neglecting, abusing and ill-treating her young sons and as well as her daughter, who are all under the age of 10, in a manner likely to cause suffering to their health and seriously affect their well being, on a date last August.

She also faces a second charge for assault causing harm to her daughter on a date in February last year. All the offences are alleged to have happened at her home, in Co. Kildare.

Detective Garda Paul Carney had told the district court that the woman, who is in her early forties, made “no reply” when the four charges were put to her.

The woman had been remanded on conditional bail to appear again  today to allow time for directions from the DPP to be obtained, to determine whether her case is to be dealt with at district court level or instead sent forward for trial to the Circuit Court which can impose tougher sentences.

Det Gda Carney told Judge Marie Quirke today that the DPP has directed “trial on indictment” meaning the case is to be dealt with at Circuit Court level.

Judge Quirke remanded the woman on continuing bail to appear again in September when she is to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

Under the terms of her bail, she had been ordered to surrender her travel documents, reside at her current address and not to “interfere with witnesses” for the duration of the proceedings.

She has restricted access to her children, who are now in care, and has been told that she must not discuss the case with them during supervised visits.

The defendant, who has not yet indicated how she will be pleading to the charges, has already given an undertaking in court that she would abide by these conditions.

A Circuit Court conviction can result in a fine in excess of €12,000 and sentences of up to seven years for the child cruelty charges, and a maximum five-year term for assault causing harm.

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