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Allegations OAP accused of sexually abusing two girls had 'cut out' image of victim's head, court told

He was granted conditional bail


The Central Criminal Court (stock photo)

The Central Criminal Court (stock photo)

The Central Criminal Court (stock photo)

A pensioner accused of sexually abusing two young girls in his family was found with a picture on his phone of an alleged victim's head, cut out and placed over an image of a semi-naked woman, a court heard.

The man (66) is alleged to have raped one 10-year-old girl and sexually assaulted another in incidents up to 18 years apart.

He was granted conditional bail and the case against him was adjourned at Dublin District Court for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Detective Garda Lindsey Hennelly told Judge Bryan Smyth the accused replied “no” to each of the two charges when he was asked if he had anything to say after caution.

Objecting to bail, she cited the seriousness of the charges, which carry potential sentences of life imprisonment and 14 years on conviction.

Det Gda Hennelly said the accused was alleged to have raped a 10-year-old child on a date in June 2021.

This complainant told gardai she was at a relative's house and the accused was living there at the time.

He was also alleged to have sexually assaulted another girl at the same house when she was aged 10 or 11, on a date unknown between 2003 and 2005.

This complainant, now aged 27, was prompted to make her statement when the first allegation was brought to the attention of the gardai.

During the investigation it was discovered that the accused had cut out a picture of one of the victims’ head and shoulders, placed it over a picture of a semi-naked adult female, and a photo of those images was taken on his phone, Det Gda Hennelly alleged.

She believed the accused would be a flight risk if granted bail as he had lived in the UK and "lied" to gardai about flights that were booked at one point, she said. Det Gda Hennelly also feared the man could interfere with witnesses by contacting them.

The DPP directed trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony said the accused had been “a little bit evasive” about booked flights, but returned to Ireland three times by arrangement; for interview and to be charged.

In his interviews, he answered questions but maintained a “narrative of innocence” and did not accept the allegations, Mr O’Mahony said.

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The accused and alleged victims were distant relatives, he said.

Judge Smyth said the allegations were very serious. He granted bail in the accused’s own bond of €500, with no cash lodgement. He required an independent surety of €3,000, with half to be lodged or €2,500 cash in lieu.

Under conditions, the accused is to stay out of three Dublin locations and another county and have no contact directly or indirectly with either of the victims. He is to be contactable by phone, surrender his passport to gardai and not apply for another.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear in Cloverhill District Court next week.

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