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Child assault accused 'fled country after death threats'

A MAN accused of abusing and cruelly ill-treating his former partner's daughters has claimed he was forced to flee Ireland four years ago after he was told by her family he had 24 hours to leave or he would be shot.

The man and his former girlfriend, who are in their 20s and 30s, only returned to Ireland after a European arrest warrant was issued for their arrest.

He was remanded in custody for one week after a judge at Blanchardstown District Court refused him bail.

Lawyers for the woman consented to a two-week remand in custody, and the judge ordered that psychiatric and psychological reports be prepared on her.

The pair are charged with ill-treating two young girls on dates between May and August 2006.

They are also each facing charges of assaulting, or allowing the children to be assaulted, in a manner likely to cause suffering to the children.

The man claimed he had no idea gardai were looking for him, and he only left for the UK because he was threatened.

He said he wants to stay in Ireland to fight the charges, and he handed himself in to Scottish police as soon as he knew about the arrest warrant. He said three men came to his home in December 2006, gave him a "bit of a beating", and warned him to get out of the country or they would kill him.

He said he believes the children's grandfather sent the men.