Thursday 23 May 2019

Technical delay in 'defilement' case

Nicola Donnelly

The downloading of content from mobile phones has delayed the serving of a book of evidence on a female teacher accused of defiling a teenage boy.

The 24-year-old teacher, who cannot be identified as reporting restrictions are in place, has been charged with engaging in a sex act with a child under the age of 17 on February 1 and February 13 last year.

She is also charged with engaging in a sex act and sexually exploiting the teen on a beach and in a hotel on the same dates.

The teacher is facing trial by judge and jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on the charges.

Last week, at Swords District Court, the woman, who has since lost her job, made her fourth court appearance.

A State solicitor told the court the book of evidence is not yet ready and that the contents of phones is the 'cause of the delay'.

The solicitor said it is on consent a four week adjournment has been requested for the service of the book of evidence.

However, solicitor for the accused Emer O'Sullivan said: 'I don't want to be difficult but phones were seized several months ago.

'I can't understand why the content hasn't been downloaded and printed off.'

He said this was a 'classic case that this content can be served as additional evidence'.

Ms O'Sullivan said she was in the judge's hands to have the case marked peremptory against The State.

However, Judge Dermot Dempsey said he noted her request but said he won't make it peremptory.

'I may consider it the next time,' said Judge Dempsey and adjourned the case until next month.

The accused, who sat at the back of the court room at the district court, was accompanied by her father and another family member and did not address the court during the short hearing, last week.

Fingal Independent