A man charged with 173 rape and sexual assault offences against three Midland children was bailed at a special sitting of the District Court in Athlone this week (December 3 ) to appear again in the new year.
On the defendant’s first appearance last week, the court heard how the offences were alleged to have occurred at the home he shared with his then partner between 2001 and 2010, and started when the youngest child was six.
Inspector Aidan Minnock told the court the State had no objection to bail, but sought a substantial independent surety of €5,000.
Defence solicitor Mark Cooney explained that this was beyond the means of his client and his family, but that a daughter of the defendant was willing to take him in and offer a surety of €500.
Judge Seamus Hughes remanded the man in custody to allow provision of bank statements corroborate his statement of means, and when satisfied yesterday with their bona fides, he remanded the man on his own bail of €200, along with his daughter’s €500, to re-appear on February 6 for a book of evidence.
Once this has been served, a date for trial in the Central Criminal Courts of Justice can then be set.
He was ordered to reside at a given address, sign on twice weekly at his local Garda station, surrender his passport, have no contact whatsoever with any of the witnesses, and stay out of a neighbouring county.
Judge Hughes ordered a blanket reporting ban on proceedings to protect the identity of the victims.