Man charged with false imprisonment of 6-year-old child with Down Syndrome

Ryan was charged with false imprisonment of the 6-year-old boy at Liffey Street
Ryan was charged with false imprisonment of the 6-year-old boy at Liffey Street

A MAN is facing trial after a 6-year-old child with Down's Syndrome became separated from his family in the heart of a Dublin shopping district.

Father-of-two David Ryan with an address at Foxdene Avenue, Clondalkin in Dublin but who was described today as being of no fixed abode was refused bail.

He was charged with false imprisonment of the 6-year-old boy at Liffey Street on Thursday. The small child, who is unable to communicate, was found when a security guard noticed him alone on a street.

The charge is under Section 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act however Mr Ryan has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Garda Elaine Holmes told Judge William Hamill at Dublin District Court today that the accused was charged at Store Street Garda station at 5.30pm on Thursday.

"He made no reply to the charge after caution." the judge was told.

Gda Holmes objected to bail citing the seriousness of the offence and explained that Mr Ryan was accused of false imprisonment in connection with the incident. Gda Holmes said it is alleged Mr Ryan "took a child who was in a buggy, he pushed him across the road and took food from his hand and ate it".

The court heard it was alleged Mr Ryan then searched the buggy and "left the child on the street". Gda Holmes also said the young boy with Down Syndrome requires “extensive care".

Gda Holmes said the child "has no speech" and "could not communicate with a security guard who took responsibility for him and became aware he was on his own".

Judge Hamill was told that Mr Ryan was "erratic and unpredictable" when he was arrested.

Donal Patterson BL, defending said his client has two young children. Mr Ryan is on social welfare and gets €186 a week and pays €80 in maintenance to the mother of his children, the court heard.

The lawyer said Mr Ryan's family is dependent on his social welfare payments and that his client's youngest child is just three weeks old.

Counsel said his client can reside at an address in Tallaght but Gda Holmes said she had been informed by Mr Ryan that he was of no fixed abode and that "he has been homeless since he was 12 or 13".

Gda Holmes also confirmed that the DPP has directed that the defendant will face trial on indictment. This means the case will be dealt with at the higher level, in the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers. 

Mr Ryan, who was wearing a navy jumper, blue jeans and runners, remained silent during the hearing.

Judge Hamill said he had no option but to refuse bail and remanded him in custody while a book of evidence has to be prepared. He will face his next hearing at Cloverhill District Court next Friday and Judge Hamill also directed that he must receive medical attention if it is required.