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serious risk Bail refused for man (26) accused of assaulting and threatening to kill sex workers

Aaron Barwell is facing charges following three alleged attacks on escorts

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A Dublin man has been accused of falsely imprisoning, assaulting and threatening to kill sex workers at his home.

Aaron Barwell (26) is facing charges following three alleged attacks on escorts in his apartment in the west of the city.

He was refused bail at Dublin District Court after gardai objected, saying they feared he posed a "serious risk."

Judge Conal Gibbons remanded him in custody, for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Mr Barwell, of Coldcut Park, Clondalkin is charged with falsely imprisoning three women at his home and assaulting them, causing harm - on January 29, August 13 and August 27 this year.

He is also charged with threatening to kill two of the women, in the more recent alleged incidents.

Detective Sergeant Niamh Guckian told Judge Gibbons she arrested the accused for the purpose of charge at Ronanstown garda station yesterday.

He made no reply to any of the charges after caution and was handed copies of the charge sheets, she said.

Det Sgt Guckian objected to bail, citing the nature and seriousness of the charges.

The maximum potential sentences on the charges on conviction were up to life imprisonment, she said.

She said the charges were of a grave nature.

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The same alleged modus operandi was used in each case and she firmly believed the accused would go on to commit serious offences if released.

If granted bail, she believed Mr Barwell posed a serious risk to the alleged victims, other people working in the escort business and the community in general.

The alleged incidents had “escalated in the level of violence used and the threats to kill,” Det Sgt Guckian said.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Donough Molloy said the accused was presumed innocent.

He said the allegations would be “strongly contested” and alternative accounts had been provided by Mr Barwell.

Mr Barwell would maintain in two of the cases, there was a dispute over payment and in another, the alleged victim stole cocaine from him.

He said the second alleged victim had only come forward after the third had made her complaint.

Det Sgt Guckian said she believed the “timing” was a coincidence and that the women were working independently and did not know each other.

Mr Molloy said the accused made no efforts to flee and had no previous convictions.

The case could take “upwards of 18 months to two years” to go to trial and Mr Barwelll was entitled to a presumption in favour of bail, Mr Molloy said.

There was no evidence the accused would not turn up in court or that he was a flight risk, the judge said.

However, the prosecution maintained that the occurrence of the alleged offences within a short period of time gave rise to the view that there was a “pattern of behaviour that will continue into the future,” he said.

They were “hugely serious” allegations and the judge said he was satisfied it was necessary to refuse bail.

The accused, who appeared via video link, was remanded in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court on September 3.

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