A man charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault dating back 30 years objected to signing on once a week at his local garda station as a condition of his bail.
Detective Garda Eimear Brennan formally arrested and charged the 45-year-old man with five counts of raping and seven counts of sexually assaulting the complainant when the defendant and the complainant were both aged around 15 in 1990/1991.
Det. Garda Brennan said there was no objection to the accused being remanded on bail but that three conditions were required, namely, that he would sign on once a week at his local garda station or at another station, that he would surrender his passport and undertake not to apply for a new one and to stay away from the alleged injured party.
Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said the defence was only agreeing to the third condition.
There was an objection to the requirement to sign on and surrender his passport.
Mr Kelleher said, “I am saying, why sign on at all – look at the charges, they are 30 years old. Why do you think it is important that someone sign on?”
Det. Garda Brennan said, “These charges are very serious. There are a number of rape charges – one of the highest charges in a court of law. We have been very fair with the defendant.”
Mr Kelleher argued, “It is a serious matter hanging over his head. Why put the extra severity of signing on at his local garda station – not to mention the ignominy of having to enter it (every week).”
The detective said, “The charges are of a serious nature - that is why I want conditions.”
Mr Kelleher said, “This is someone without a stain on his character who is now put in a very serious situation. There is no need for him to sign on. This goes back 30 years. Why make him sign on once a week? This is a condition that is just pulled out of fresh air. It cannot be justified in this particular case. I would really object. I see no reason to add to 30-year-old charges. It will make a lot of difficulties.”
Mr Kelleher suggested that the defendant having to go to the garda station could have the potential to jeopardise the anonymity he has on the charges.
Det. Garda Brennan said, “I understand Mr Kelleher’s argument but the defendant’s circumstances have changed – he is now charged with serious charges.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said, “The guards have completed their enquiries and on that basis they are seeking these conditions.”
Judge Kelleher ruled that the three conditions would apply to the 45-year-old man’s bail.
The case was adjourned for five weeks to allow time for preparation and service of a book of evidence.
Det. Garda Brennan said that when she arrested, charged and cautioned the defendant on the twelve charges, the defendant replied to each of the charges, “I am not guilty of this.”