Retired teacher charged with sexual assault of schoolboy in early 1990s

Leo Hickey at Cork Court. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

A 76-year-old retired primary school teacher was arrested yesterday and charged with sexually assaulting a nine-year-old schoolboy eight times in the early 1990s.

Detective Garda Donal O’Connell on Ballincollig Garda Station formally arrested Leo Hickey at Cork District Court at 10am yesterday morning.

The detective charged him with eight counts of sexual assault allegedly committed between November 1991 and June 1992 at Scoil Eoin boys national school in Ballincollig.

The accused was cautioned that he did not have to say anything but that anything he might say would be taken down and given in evidence. He replied, ‘Not guilty’ to the charges.

Inspector Gary McPolin said the Director of Public Prosecutions directed trial on indictment on all charges.

Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, applied for free legal aid to represent the accused. Mr Cuddigan submitted a written statement of her client’s means and said he was a retired schoolteacher and would not be in a position to discharge his legal costs.

Judge Olann Kelleher said that on the basis of that information, he would grant free legal aid.

Mr Cuddigan said bail conditions required by gardaí were agreed by the accused.

Those conditions required Hickey to reside at his home at Realt Na Mara, Skevanish, Innishannon, Co Cork, sign on three times a week at Ballincollig garda station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, have no contact with the complainant or witnesses to the case and on his own bond of €400.

On the application of Inspector McPolin, Judge Kelleher adjourned the case until June 8, with the accused remanded on bail.

Hickey was not required to speak during the brief hearing at Cork District Court yesterday.

When the book of evidence is eventually served on him, it will then be a matter of having the case sent forward for trial by judge and jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.


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