herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Waiter fails to show for his sex attack trial

A WARRANT has been issued for the arrest of a waiter accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old customer who went to his restaurant for a meal.

Durga Bohara (37) allegedly groped the girl, tried to kiss her and made comments about her body when her mother and grandmother were away from the table.

A judge issued the warrant when he failed to appear in court for trial.

Bohara, of Alverno Park, Willow Park, Athlone, Co Westmeath, is charged with sexual assault on the girl at Bumbai restaurant, Riverfront Shopping Centre, Leixlip, on July 8 last year.

He has pleaded not guilty to the offence, which is under Section 2 of the Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment Act.

The case had been transferred from Blanchardstown District Court to Dublin District Court, where a video link was made available for the alleged victim to give evidence.

The court heard that as well as civilian witnesses, there were two garda witnesses present and a State solicitor. The case had been listed for hearing and was ready to proceed, with a solicitor and barrister on legal aid representing Bohara.







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However, his barrister told Judge Patricia McNamara she was not aware where he was and unable to contact him. She said the case was being contested on a "factual" basis rather than any technical defence.

She asked Judge McNamara to adjourn the case in the accused's absence. The State solicitor asked the judge to proceed in the accused's absence, saying all the prosecution witnesses were present and the alleged victim was waiting in a video link room elsewhere in the Criminal Courts of Justice.

She had been "distressed" on a previous court date when it appeared the case might not go ahead.

The court heard a State-funded Urdu interpreter was also present to translate proceedings for Bohara, who is Nepalese.

Judge McNamara let the case stand in the morning's list and when he was still not present, she issued the warrant.

aphelan@herald.ie

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