Bail granted | 

Taxi driver charged with raping woman in his cab while driving her home in Dublin

When gardai questioned him, he insisted the sex was "entirely consensual," a court heard.

Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Andrew PhelanSunday World

A TAXI driver has been accused of raping a young woman in his cab after he picked her up in Dublin city centre and was driving her home.

The accused, a married father in his late 40s, allegedly stopped the taxi, got out of the driver's seat and into the back where he raped the woman for eight minutes.

When gardai questioned him, he insisted the sex was "entirely consensual," a court heard.

Judge Patricia Cronin granted him bail, despite objections by a garda.

The judge said the taxi driver was presumed innocent and there was insufficient evidence of a real risk of serious offending being committed.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail for a week, for the directions of the DPP to be given.

The man is charged with raping the woman in north county Dublin on August 9.

Garda Ultan McIlroy told Dublin District Court he arrested the accused for the purpose of charge at a garda station last night.

The man made no reply after caution and was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Objecting to bail, Gda McIlroy cited the nature and strength of the proposed evidence. He said the accused was observed on CCTV getting into the driver’s seat of the taxi.

He was seen buying petrol 10 minutes earlier and turning down another fare from a male before accepting the woman as a passenger in the city centre.

She got into the back seat and the taxi was seen “driving around aimlessly” for 13 minutes before coming to a stop, Gda McIlroy said. According to the prosecution, the accused was then seen exiting the vehicle and making his way to the rear passenger side, entering it and closing the door behind him.

The alleged victim was in the back seat at the time and it was alleged he raped her for eight minutes.

The accused then exited the taxi from the same door, returned to the driver’s seat and used his phone to search for the woman’s address before driving there.

When interviewed, the accused described consensual sexual contact with the alleged victim.

Gda McIlroy said the man only gave this account when the evidence was put to him.

DPP directions have not yet been given.

Defence solicitor Danielle O’Sullivan said her client could be waiting trial for two to three years in custody if refused bail.

He had given a “full account” in a garda statement asserting that the encounter between himself and the alleged victim was “fully consensual,” she said.

He was prepared to abide by bail conditions including a curfew. His car had been seized by gardai and he had no intention of working as a taxi driver again, she said.

Judge Cronin said while it was a serious offence, there was insufficient evidence of a real risk and she did not consider it necessary to refuse bail. She set bail in the accused's own bond of €500, with an independent surety of €2,000. Of this, €1,000 is to be lodged in cash and the rest frozen in a bank account.

Under conditions, he must sign on three times weekly at a garda station, observe a curfew, live at an address in south Dublin and have no contact with the alleged victim. He is also to surrender his PSV licence and undertake not to work as a taxi driver.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on August 31.

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