Man (44) charged with 22 sexual offences including engaging in sexual activity with a child

The DPP has directed trial by indictment before judge and jury, court is told

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

 

A 44-year-old man has been charged with a total of 22 sexual offences including engaging in sexual activity with a child and using the child for sexual exploitation.

Garfield Ebbs of Fairfield Green, Farranree, Cork appeared on Friday at Cork District Court where the charges against him relating to a child and separate charges relating to an adult were laid before Judge Olann Kelleher.

Det Garda Craig Peterson of the Protective Services Unit at Anglesea Street Garda Station in Cork told how he met Mr Ebbs at Gurranebraher Garda Station on the afternoon of April 25th by appointment.

He told how he arrested Mr Ebbs at 4.30pm on that date for the purpose of charge and he then charged him with each of the 22 offences and Mr Ebbs made no reply to any of the charges when they were put to him after caution.

The charges include five counts that Mr Ebbs engaged in sexual activity with a child under 17, contrary to section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sex Offences) Act 2017 at locations in Cork between September 1st, 2018 and May 25th, 2019.

The State also alleges in another five charges that Mr Ebbs engaged in sexual exploitation, contrary to Section 3(2) of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 in Cork again between September 1st, 2018 and May 25th, 2019.

And the State alleges in a further five charges that Mr Ebbs obtained a child under 17 for the purpose of sexual exploitation, contrary to Section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sex Offences) Act 2017again in Cork between the same dates.

The State also alleges in a further five charges that Mr Ebbs met a child under 17 for the purposes of sexual exploitation, contrary to Section 7 of Criminal Law (Sex Offences) 2017, again in Cork between the same dates.

He was also charged with two counts relating to the adult: that he paid for sexual activity with a prostitute, contrary to section 25 of the Criminal Law (Sex Offences) Act 2017 on November 25th, 2019 and January 7th, 2020.

No details were given in relation to the alleged offences in court but Sgt John Kelleher said that gardaí had received directions from the DPP that the matter should be tried on indictment before a judge and jury at circuit court level.

Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer asked when a book of evidence would be ready in the case and Sgt Kelleher applied for a four-week adjournment to allow for preparation and service of the book of evidence in the case.

Judge Olann Kelleher granted the application and remanded Mr Ebbs to appear again on May 29th for service of the book of evidence and he made an order prohibiting the publication of any details that would identify the injured party.