Wednesday 25 April 2018

Man 'who asked boy (12) to touch him' should be named - judge

The Citywest Hotel, Saggart
The Citywest Hotel, Saggart

A judge has ruled that a man accused of luring a 12-year-old boy from a Luas stop to a hotel and offering him money to touch him can be named - but with a six-day stay on the order.

Judge David McHugh made his decision after defence lawyers sought an order preventing the media from identifying the married father-of-three.

As a result, the accused cannot be named pending further legal submissions. The man (51) is charged with sexually exploiting a child at the Citywest Hotel, Saggart, on October 20, 2016.

The offence was under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

He was returned for trial on the charge at Blanchardstown District Court on Thursday.

His solicitor, John O'Doherty, yesterday asked Judge McHugh to clarify what reporting restrictions applied in the case. The judge said the man could be named in the media as long as the alleged victim was not identified.

The man, who was not in court yesterday, is on bail pending his trial and has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.


Judge McHugh said his understanding of the law was that as long as the alleged injured party was not identified, he had "no difficulty" with the identification of the accused.

"My one and only purpose is that the alleged victim is not identified," he said.

"I am absolutely satisfied that as long as the alleged injured party is not identified in these proceedings, then it is open to the media to follow the law in this matter. I don't believe there have been any breaches in that regard."

Mr O'Doherty said he was seeking reporting restrictions on the naming of his client, arguing that his right to a fair trial would be prejudiced. The judge repeated that his view was if the accused only was identified, and the alleged injured party remained unidentified, "the law has been observed".

Mr O'Doherty asked the judge to put a stay on his order, to allow him to take more advice on it.

Judge McHugh said he would put a stay on the identification of the accused until Thursday, when the case will be mentioned in court again.

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