by Tom Tuite
A man charged over a sex attack on a woman in Dublin city-centre has been refused bail after a court heard he was caught red-handed and had to be physically separated from her.
The 35-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Dublin District Court on Thursday charged with sexual assault and an offence under Section Four of the Criminal Law (Rape) Act.
The accused, who is originally from Romania, had been arrested in relation to a serious sexual assault in the early hours of Monday at Parnell Place in Dublin’s north inner city.
The man, who claims to have no memory of the incident, was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on October 18 next.
Garda Les O’Rourke told Judge John Lindsay that the accused made no reply when he was charged at Mountjoy Garda Station on Wednesday night.
The man listened to the proceedings with the assistance of an interpreter but did not address the court.
Objecting to bail, Garda O’Rourke, cited the nature of evidence in support of the charges.
He said CCTV footage has been obtained from four locations and the incident was captured by a witness on a mobile phone.
He said the accused was caught red-handed and a Garda discovered the alleged rape in progress at 3.50am on Monday.
On arrival, the garda caught the accused with his pants down, and he was on top of the victim making a humping motion, the court heard.
It was alleged a Garda told him to stop on three occasions, but he refused and “had to be physically separated from her”, Garda O’Rourke said.
The woman was brought to a sexual assault treatment unit, and further serious charges could be brought, said, Garda O’Rourke.
He said the accused was interviewed and admitted being in the area the evening before but denied any knowledge of the incident.
He said the CCTV evidence from four premises showed him in the company of the woman seconds beforehand but did not show the events.
He agreed with defence solicitor Mark O’Sullivan that the accused did not have a warrant history and had not been a suspect in a serious case before. He also said the woman did not know the man.
Garda O’Rourke said it was his belief the accused was caught red-handed by two of his colleagues. He did not disagree that the accused would not face trial in the Central Criminal Court for a year or until early 2019.
He agreed that when interviewed the man denied it and said “it’s impossible”.
Pleading for bail, Mr O’Sullivan said his client had lived in Ireland for a number of years, was in full-time employment and had ties to the jurisdiction – family members living here.
He submitted that his client, who lived in rented accommodation in Dublin, had no warrant history and would abide by bail terms such as a curfew, surrender his passport and sign on regularly at his local garda station, and he would provide a cash lodgement.
He said if bail was denied his client would spend considerable time in custody prior to his trial and he enjoyed the presumption of innocence.
When questioned by the judge, Garda O’Rourke said there were no bail terms that would satisfy him. Judge Lindsay refused bail.
Legal aid was granted, and the judge acceded to a request from Mr O’Sullivan to direct medical attention for the accused in custody. His client had a medical issue that the garda was aware of, the solicitor said.