No bail for man (70) in child sex case
A 70-year-old man facing charges relating to a child sexual assault offence has been denied bail.
The man was arrested in Mayo on Monday evening and charged under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 with restricting the personal liberty of a child for the purpose of his or her sexual exploitation.
The charge carries a possible prison term of 14 years.
The 70-year-old, who is originally from the UK, was denied bail after gardaí raised concerns about the seriousness of the charge and that he was a flight risk with no ties to the State.
The court heard that when charged, he replied: "Nothing to say, need to speak to my solicitor."
Inspector Tom Calvey told Castlebar District Court that he believed there would be further charges in the case.
The court heard the defendant had lived in Ireland since 2002 and was the sole carer for his disabled wife who is in a wheelchair.
Garda Orla Browne told Judge Mary Devins that the accused's wife had made a report to gardaí that she wasn't receiving the care she needs and was making arrangements to move back to England without him.
Gda Browne said she was of the belief the defendant would not return for hearing if granted bail.
The accused said he would provide a surety of €2,000, surrender his passport and sign on as required.
"Everybody knows us. I've been of good character and raised money for charities and I do good for the community," he added.
The court heard the couple moved to Ireland in 2002 residing initially in Kerry before moving to Mayo and he had not returned to the UK since.
"This has torn us apart. We could lose everything," the accused said.
"I built up a good character over the past 10 years, I raised money for charity, I try to help anyone I can," he added.
Judge Devins denied bail but said it could be revisited at a later date. She also deferred making a ruling on a legal aid application. The accused will appear before Harristown Court on Friday, April 22.