Saturday 16 December 2017

No extradition order for Dublin father-of-five wanted for alleged sexual assault 20 years ago

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Eoin Reynolds

A father-of-five should not be sent to Britain to face charges that he sexually assaulted a girl over 20 years ago when he was 13 years old, his legal team told the High Court today.

The 34-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is wanted by Liverpool Magistrate's Court to face two charges that he sexually assaulted a girl between January and June of 1994. The girl was six years old at the time.

Speaking for the wanted man, Patrick McGrath SC said that he lives in Dublin and has five children and plays a role in all their lives.

In those circumstances, he said the 20-year delay in issuing the arrest warrant was a breach of his client's rights and he should not be sent abroad to face trial.

Mr McGrath also said that the evidence provided by the British authorities to the court would not be enough to bring him to trial in Ireland. Therefore it would not be fair to extradite him without grounds for believing he has a case to answer.

John Fitzgerald BL, speaking on behalf of the State, said the delay in bringing the case can be explained by the fact it took 17 years for the girl to go to the authorities, something that is not unusual in such cases. The further delay was due to difficulties in locating their man.

Mr Fitzgerald also rejected the claim that there was insufficient evidence, saying that it is up to the British authorities to put the man on trial, not the Irish High Court. He said Ireland has a "shared human rights standard" with the British and that the High Court has to trust that the authorities over there will act appropriately.

Justice Tony Hunt said he would make a judgment on Thursday March 3.

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