Saturday 20 January 2018

Pictured: Man accused of luring boy (12) from Luas stop and offering him €50 to touch him

Michael Davis has been charged with the sexual exploitation of a child
Michael Davis has been charged with the sexual exploitation of a child

Andrew Phelan

THIS is the married father-of-three accused of luring a boy from a Luas stop to a hotel and offering the 12-year-old €50 to touch him.

Michael Davis (51) is alleged to have asked the boy for directions at a tram stop in west Dublin before bringing him to a room in a nearby hotel.

He is facing trial on a sexual exploitation charge and can now be named after a judge ruled there was no evidence of any risk he would not get a fair trial.

Last week, Judge David McHugh rejected a defence request for a ban on naming Mr Davis but put a six-day stay on the order.

Judge McHugh had said Mr Davis could be named as long as it did not lead to the identification of the alleged victim.

His defence had asked for Mr Davis to remain anonymous, arguing there was a risk he would not get a fair trial.

Today, Judge McHugh granted no further stay on the order when the case came before Blanchardstown District Court.

Defence solicitor John O’Doherty said he had no further instructions and Solicitor Kieran Kelly said he was representing Independent News And Media.

“I am satisfied that there is insufficient evidence before the court that would entitle me to take the view that the identification of the accused would lead to a real risk of an unfair trial,” the judge said.

He made no further order in the case.

Mr Davis, from Shortallstown, Dunmaggin, Co Kilkenny, is on bail pending his trial has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

He is charged with sexually exploiting a child at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart on October 20, 2016.

The offence is under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.

He was not required to be present in court today and has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charge.

Last week, a State solicitor told Judge McHugh the book of evidence was ready and the DPP was seeking a return for trial to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The book was then served on Mr Davis.

Judge McHugh gave him the formal notice that he must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days.

He also ordered disclosure of the defendant’s garda interview video to his lawyers.

Mr Davis was remanded on bail on existing terms and conditions to appear in the circuit court on October 20.

When he first appeared in court last June, Detective Garda Kate Flood told the judge she arrested Mr Davis at his home address that morning and brought him to Clondalkin Garda Station where he was charged.

Det Gda Flood told Judge McHugh she was objecting to bail due to the seriousness of the alleged offence.

She said it would be alleged the boy was approached at a west Dublin Luas stop by the accused who asked him for directions to a nearby hotel. Det Gda Flood added that the court would hear that the man offered to show the boy his hotel room and they went together to the room.

She said it would be further alleged when they got to the room the man offered €50 to the 12-year-old if he touched him. She said the boy left the room and contacted gardaí.

Det Gda Flood said later that night the man spoke to three gardaí and said the boy had wanted to see the room because he heard someone famous had stayed there.

Previously, Mr Davis’ bail conditions were adjusted to enable him to go on a family holiday.

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