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book of evidence Man accused of sexual assault on niece at his home faces trial


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A MAN is facing trial accused of sexually assaulting his nine-year-old niece at his home in Dublin.

The accused (47) allegedly touched the girl twice in separate incidents seven years ago.

Judge John Brennan ruled the case was too serious to be dealt with at Dublin District Court and adjourned it for the preparation of a book of evidence.

The man, who cannot be named, is charged with two counts of sexual assault. A garda said the accused was charged in her presence before the court sitting and made no reply to either charge after caution.

She told the judge the DPP directed trial on indictment, but was consenting to the case being dealt with in the district court if the accused was pleading guilty.

Judge Brennan asked for an outline of the prosecution's case so he could consider the issue of jurisdiction. The garda said it would be alleged that the incidents happened at the defendant's north Dublin home on two dates in 2014.

On the first unknown date late that year, the complainant alleged she was at the accused's address when he placed his hand in her underpants and touched her private parts.

She alleged a similar offence happened the following month, in the same place.

The judge asked if there was any allegation of actual physical contact and the garda said the allegation was that the touching was inside the girl's underwear.

Judge Brennan said in his view the charges were not of a minor nature.

He refused jurisdiction, meaning that the case will be sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when a book of evidence is ready.

The court heard there had been an administrative delay in bringing the charges. The judge said the charges were serious for everyone involved and the accused was presumed innocent.

There was no garda objection to bail subject to conditions.

Judge Brennan granted bail in the man's own bond of €500, on condition that he signs on weekly at a garda station and is contactable at all times by phone. He is to have no contact with the alleged victim or any witnesses.

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The judge granted free legal aid after defence solicitor Tony Collier said the accused was on social welfare.

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