Couple charged in Cork over rape and sexual exploitation of son

Man (52) is refused bail after gardaí warn of flight risk as woman (44) is remanded on bail

The couple, who can’t be named to protect the anonymity of their son, were brought before Cork District Court on Thursday. Photograph: Alan Betson

The couple, who can’t be named to protect the anonymity of their son, were brought before Cork District Court on Thursday. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A couple have appeared in court charged with a series of offences including the rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation of their young son when he was aged between three and 4½ years old at their home in Cork city.

The couple, who can’t be named to protect the anonymity of their son, were brought before Cork District Court on Thursday where the man was charged with 12 offences and the woman with three offences following an investigation by the Cork City Garda Protective Services Unit.

The man (52) was charged with three counts of anally raping his son at a location in Cork on dates between September 11th, 2014 and June 18th, 2015, contrary to section 4 of the Criminal Law Rape Amendment Act 1990.

The man was further charged with two counts of sexually assaulting his son at a location in Cork between the same dates in 2014 and 2015, contrary to section 2 of the Criminal Law Rape Amendment Act 1990.

He was further charged with three counts of sexually exploiting his son by allowing or inducing the child to engage in a sexual act with another male, again between the same dates in 2014 and 2015, contrary to section 3 (3) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

He was further charged with two other counts of sexually exploiting his son where in one case it is alleged that he allowed or induced the child to engage in a sexual act with a female and another case where it is alleged he allowed or induced the child to engage in a sexual act with a dog.

The man was further charged with a drugs offence where he is accused of possessing €3,000 worth of heroin for sale or supply at his home address on April 30th, 2018, contrary to section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.

The woman (44) was charged with one count of sexually assaulting the child between September 11th, 2013 and June 18th, 2015 and with two counts of sexually exploiting the child by inducing him to engage in a sexual act with her, again between the same dates.

Det Garda Caroline Keogh of the Cork City Division Protective Services Unit gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in respect of both accused and said the man made no reply to any of the charges after caution while the woman replied “it did not happen” to each of her three charges after caution.

Sgt Pat Lyons said the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed trial by indictment for both accused at the Central Criminal Court and had consented to both being sent forward on a signed plea of guilty but solicitors for both accused, Diarmuid Kelleher and Frank Buttimer, said that would not be happening.

‘Flight risk’

Det Garda Keogh said that gardaí were objecting to bail for the man due to the seriousness of the charges and the penalties they carried including imprisonment for up to life while she also feared that he was a flight risk as he was a non-national who had no family ties to Ireland.

The man’s solicitor, Mr Kelleher, said that his client had undergone major surgery for a serious medical condition some years ago and owed his life to the Irish health system and he was still in poor health and in receipt of medical attention and he risked death if he left Ireland.

Det Garda Keogh said she was not qualified to comment on the man’s health condition and the health risks he might face if he left Ireland but she believed that the charges were extremely serious and she feared that he might abscond to avoid standing trial if he was granted bail.

She told the woman’s solicitor, Mr Buttimer, that gardaí would agree to the woman being remanded on bail provided that she was agreeable to meet a number of bail conditions and Mr Buttimer confirmed that his client was willing to abide by the bail terms set by the court.

Judge Olann Kelleher remanded the woman on bail on condition she reside at her home address, abide by a curfew, sign on at a local Garda station three times a week, surrender her passport and provide a mobile number so gardaí can contact her 24/7 and he remanded her until October 21st.

The judge said that the charges against the man were too serious and he refused him bail and he remanded him in custody to appear on September 23rd and he granted both accused free legal aid after hearing they were both in receipt of disability benefit.