Friday 15 December 2017

Man charged with rape of child (7) fails to stop trial

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Tim Healy

The High Court has dismissed a bid to halt the trial of man accused of raping a young girl over 40 years ago.

The man, who is in his sixties, faces a single charge of raping the seven year old in a field near her home. 

It is alleged he lured her to the field by offers of sweets and small amounts of money.  He worked as a labourer on her father's farm.

The man who cannot be identified for legal reasons, denies the accusation.

After receiving counselling, the woman made a complaint in 2014 to the gardai about the alleged abuse.

The man then brought High Court challenge aimed at preventing his trial at the Central Criminal Court from proceeding on grounds there was a real risk he would not get a fair trial.

He claimed that during the 40 plus years which have elapsed between the time of the alleged offence and when he was charged three important witnesses relevant to his defence have died.

The accused had worked as a farm labourer for the complainant's father. It is claimed he was dismissed after the father became aware of the alleged abuse.

The DPP opposed the man's action.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott found the man established any grounds to have his prosecution discontinued.

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