East Tyrone child sex accused feels isolated in prison, fails in bid for bail

Dungannon Court
Dungannon Court

An East Tyrone man, who is accused of child sex offences, has been refused bail after a District Judge ruled the defendant posed a flight risk.

The man, whose age and address cannot be publicised in order to protect the identities of his alleged victims, appeared via videolink at Dungannon Magistrates Court.

The defendant, who is a foreign national, is currently in prison on remand on one charge of rape, four counts of indecent assault on a female, as well as charges of carrying out sexual acts with a child.

During the court hearing, a defending barrister asked for bail to be granted to the accused on the grounds that the defendant has no spoken English and, as such, finds himself in a “very isolated position” in prison.

Alluding to a psychiatric report, the barrister said his client had also suffered from episodes of self-harm during his remand in March of this year.

Objecting to bai, the investigating officer in the case told the court police considered the defendant to be a flight risk and revealed that there is still “an unknown child” whom police have been unable to identify to date in their investigations.

The police man said it was feared that, if granted bail, there would be a risk that the defendant would make contact with the alleged injured parties and witnesses in the case.

Furthermore, the investigating officer said police had not been provided with a suitable address for bail and that they feared the defendant would be at risk of re-offending.

Rejecting the application from the defence, District Judge, John Meehan, said the “gravity” of the allegations made against the defendant, as well as a suggestion that contact between the defendant and one of the alleged injured parties in the case had taken place, was “too serious” for him to grant bail.

District Judge Meehan adjourned the case to be heard by videolink on August 19.