Wednesday 18 September 2019

Taxi driver charged with raping passenger in cab faces trial

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Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A taxi driver has appeared in court charged with raping a passenger in his cab in Dublin city centre.

The accused (35), who is alleged to have attacked the young woman last December, was identified as a suspect following a high-profile media campaign, including a feature on RTÉ's 'Crimecall', a court heard.

He was granted bail at €6,000 subject to strict conditions, including a ban on driving a taxi pending his trial.

Judge John O'Leary adjourned the case at Dublin District Court for the preparation of a book of evidence.

The accused, a foreign national who lives in south Dublin, is charged with two counts of raping and two counts of orally raping the woman at Emmet Street in Dublin 1 on December 9 last year.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Kelly told Judge O'Leary he arrested the accused at the man's address yesterday morning. He brought him to Irishtown garda station where he had nothing to say in reply to the charges at 10.33am.

The DPP had directed that the case should be returned for trial to the Central Criminal Court when a book of evidence is ready, Sgt Kelly said.

He objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the charges, and his belief that the accused was a flight risk.

He said at the time of the alleged incident, there was a high-profile media campaign.

"It was subsequent to that, we believe that the accused left the jurisdiction," Sgt Kelly said.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Stephen O'Mahony said the accused had ties to Ireland, where he had lived for 15 years, and had family members here.

The accused had been out of the jurisdiction when he became aware that gardaí were looking for him, Mr O'Mahony continued. Gardaí had called to his address and told his brother the accused was a person of interest.

His brother had notified the accused, who had contacted gardaí to tell them when he would be returning, in January this year.

In January, the accused was detained for two days at Irishtown garda station where he denied the offences in interview. He had lived at his Dublin address since.

Judge O'Leary said the accused was presumed innocent.

Under bail conditions, the accused is to refrain from driving a taxi, stay away from the alleged victim and out of the north side of Dublin. He is also to sign on daily at his local Garda station and observe a curfew.

Irish Independent

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