Tuesday 22 January 2019

Bail is denied in Arklow assault case

Man denies assaulting three members of the one family outside house

Dermot Travers at Bray Court on Friday night
Dermot Travers at Bray Court on Friday night

An Arklow man charged with what was described in court as 'serious unprovoked assaults' on three members of the same family last Thursday has denied any involvement in the incident.

Dermot Travers (29), with addresses given in court as 29 St John's Villas and 2 Asgard Close, Arklow, pleaded not guilty to three charges of assault causing harm at Lamberton, Arklow, on May 3.

Detective Sgt Donal O'Sullivan told a special sitting of Bray District Court on Friday night that the accused had been charged earlier that afternoon in relation to the incident.

He alleged that, during an attempted burglary, a 14-year-old resident was attacked by Travers, who struck her on the face, outside the dwelling.

Detective Sgt O'Sullivan further outlined that the teenager's mother and another relative were also victim to unprovoked attacks.

'This individual was seen by a number of witnesses and was effectively caught red-handed', he told the court.

He said that the arrest was made after a number of members of the public apprehended the defendant at the scene.

It was indicated that CCTV footage was supplied to gardaí shortly before the court but it had not been processed in time for the sitting.

The court heard that Travers, who has 93 previous convictions, including some in England, is a known drug user, and was under the influence of drugs at the time of his arrest.

The prosecution raised concerns that he would 'continue to commit further serious offences if out on bail' and said that he was considered a flight risk.

It was also outlined that Travers was out on bail when this offence is alleged to have happened, as he awaits a Circuit Court appeal for a six-month sentence for the possession of stolen property.

Legal aid was granted to Gorey solicitor John O'Donovan, who made an application for bail.

Mr O'Donovan said that his client is in a stable relationship with a baby on the way and is willing to adhere to strict conditions such as being of sober habits, signing on at the garda station, lodging a cash sum and observing a curfew.

He said that there was no evidence of any perceived threats to witnesses or property.

'There is a very strong chance this will go forward on indictment. My client has the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence and he deserves the benefit of the doubt,' he said.

He said that his client denies carrying out any offence and that he had not, at the time of the court sitting, been questioned about the CCTV footage.

The accused, in evidence, said that he denied the assaults and that he was the victim of an assault.

'I have bruises all over me. I was on the ground getting kicked to death and I have lumps and bumps and bruises,' he said.

He told the court of his 'troubled past' and said that he did not commit the offences.

'My girlfriend needs me. It's not fair on her. I haven't been arrested for 18 months and I have been working,' he said.

The prosecution said that while Mr O'Donovan's submission was very well made, there was no argument on the defence's side to dispute the evidence that the accused was a drug-user who was under the influence at the time of his arrest.

Judge David Kennedy refused bail under Section 2 of the Bail Act and remanded Mr Travers in custody to appear at Arklow District Court today (Wednesday, May 9).

Wicklow People