herald

Tuesday 15 October 2019

'Mr Comedy' Sil Fox (86) denies sexual assault on woman in bar

Sil Fox appeared at Dublin District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge
Sil Fox appeared at Dublin District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge

Veteran comedian Sil Fox has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman at a social event in Dublin.

Sylvester 'Sil' Fox (86), was allegedly recorded on CCTV during the incident.

The accused, of Wellington Lawn, Templeogue, appeared on station bail before Dublin District Court yesterday morning.

He is charged with a single count of sexual assault.

The assault allegedly took place at a named bar and restaurant in Dublin 2 on December 17, 2018.

Details of Mr Fox's arrest, charge and caution were by certificate, which was handed into court by the presenting sergeant, Sgt Gail Smith.

Sgt Smith told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed summary trial of the case in the district court.

A written summary of the alleged facts was handed into court by Sgt Smith.

Judge Michael Walsh read the summary of the evidence.

The judge then said he would accept jurisdiction to deal with the matter in the district court, where the penalties upon conviction are less severe, telling the court "very well, I accept jurisdiction".

No details in relation to the allegation of sexual assault were read out to the court.

Defence solicitor Michael French said he had received CCTV footage and statements in relation to the matter.

Mr French said his client was pleading not guilty to the charge and he was seeking an early hearing date.

Judge Walsh adjourned the matter to a date in November for hearing.

Mr French sought legal aid, saying Mr Fox was an old-age pensioner.

Judge Walsh assigned Mr French on free legal aid.

Mr French also sought reporting restrictions in the case but Judge Walsh refused this application.

Mr Fox, wearing a dark blue suit, pale blue shirt and sky blue tie, stood in the dock when the case was called.

He was not required to address the court during the short hearing.

Supporters

The accused was also accompanied to court by a number of supporters, who sat in the public gallery.

Judge Walsh remanded Mr Fox on continuing bail, to appear before the court again on the hearing date in November.

Originally from Dublin's Liberties area, Mr Fox followed his late father into the tailoring trade.

He later gave up a steady job as a manager in a hat factory to become a full-time comedian.

In recent years, the veteran entertainer, who is known as 'Mr Comedy', has been a regular contributor to Liveline's Funny Friday shows on RTE Radio One.

If convicted of sexual assault in the district court, Mr Fox faces a fine and a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.

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