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'Urgency' to court resuming Sil Fox sexual assault trial

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Veteran comedian Sylvester ‘Sil’ Fox has pleaded not guilty

Veteran comedian Sylvester ‘Sil’ Fox has pleaded not guilty

Veteran comedian Sylvester ‘Sil’ Fox has pleaded not guilty

Veteran comedian Sil Fox's lawyers have asked for his delayed trial for sexual assault to be brought forward because of an "element of urgency" over his age.

Granting an earlier date for the case to resume, Judge Grainne Malone stressed it was only being given priority because it had already been heard in part.

She set a date later this month for trial judge Paula Murphy to make a decision on a defence application to dismiss the charge.

Mr Fox (87), has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault on a woman at a bar in Dublin city centre on December 17, 2018.

The accused, of Wellington Lawn, Templeogue, was not required to be present when the case came back before Dublin District Court.

Earlier this year, evidence in the trial was given by the alleged victim, followed by a defence application for a dismissal.

It had then been delayed amid restrictions in the courts due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Witnesses

A State solicitor told Judge Malone dates were required for a decision on the application for a dismissal and resumption of evidence if the trial is to continue.

Defence barrister Emer Ni Chuagain said "there is an element of urgency in this case because of the age of the parties involved". Mr Fox was 87 and there were elderly witnesses.

The judge said it was appropriate to get part-heard matters dealt with as soon as possible.

She adjourned the case to May 25, with a second date to be fixed later, if required.

The trial has heard Mr Fox had agreed to a request for a photograph with the middle-aged complainant who had been on a Christmas night out.

The woman alleged he "put his hand on to my lap, on to my groin" and said, 'You will always remember where this picture was taken'."

She claimed when she confronted him he said, "You should be so lucky" and he told her "this is ridiculous".

Mr Fox told gardai the woman was a liar and trying to "ruin my name"; he denied the allegation completely and said "that is a load of c**p".