Civil servant faces trial for sexually abusing girls

Civil servant faces trial for sexually abusing girls

A CIVIL servant accused of sexual abuse of a girl in Dublin over a ten-year period has been sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with 26 offences and was served with the book of evidence by Garda Peter Hughes when he appeared at Dublin District Court. 

The government department official, who is in his forties, is accused of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault which is alleged to have happened at a number of locations in Dublin from 1988 until 1998.

Judge Anthony Halpin heard that the DPP consented to the man being returned for trial at the next term of the Central Criminal Court which begins in October. He has not yet been allocated a date for his next appearance.

Garda Hughes, of Mountjoy Station, told Judge Halpin that he has already provided disclosure of the recordings of the defendant's interviews to the man's lawyers.

Judge Halpin informed the man that if he intended to rely on an alibi in his defence he must notify the prosecution within 14 days. The accused, dressed in a suit, spoke briefly to say “yes Judge” when asked if he understood.

Judge Halpin also acceded to a request from defence solicitor John Feaheny to grant free legal aid to the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons. 

The judge also agreed that this would included representation of a senior counsel for the trial.

At an earlier stage, Garda Hughes had told district the court the defendant made no comment when the charges were put to him. 

There was no objection to bail subject to conditions that the defendant stays away from the complainant and has no contact with her directly or indirectly through a third party. He also has to sign on twice a week at his local garda station in west Dublin.

At a previous hearing, Gda Hughes had objected to free legal aid saying the accused was “a man of some means”. However, the defence had submitted that he earned €550 a week, had a house in negative equity and his mortgage was in arrears.