Pensioner seeks to halt trial for alleged sexual abuse of girl more than 55 years ago

By Ann O'Loughlin

A pensioner accused of sexually assaulting a young girl over fifty years ago has launched a High Court action aimed at stopping his trial from going ahead.

In proceedings against the DPP the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, seeks the permanent prohibition of his prosecution because he claims he cannot get a fair trial.

The accused, now aged in his late 70s denies all the charges against him and says he has been prejudiced by the long passage of time since the alleged incidents.

The man is due to be tried before a judge and jury at the Circuit Criminal Court next year.

He is accused of sexually assaulting the girl between dates in 1962 and 1963. The alleged incidents took place at the complainant's home.

The complainant was eight years of age at the time of the alleged assaults.

At the High Court barrister Patrick Gageby SC for the accused said this was one of the longest cases of prosecutorial delay to come before the courts.

Counsel said the complainant alleges the man and members of his family used to visit her home on a regular basis.

His client denies this, and says that he rarely visited her home, if at all.

The man also says he was working overseas when some of the incidents complained of are alleged to have occurred.

His client is also prejudiced because his mother and sister who would support his version of events have died.

The complainant first made a statement about the man to the Gardai in 2016 counsel said.

Permission to bring the action was granted today by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The Judge put a stay on the prosecution from proceeding until the High Court action has been resolved. The case will come back before the High Court in June.

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