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22 May 2022

Kildare man due to be sentenced for rape has contracted Covid-19, court hears

Ex-lovers row over horse worth an estimated €4m comes before High Court

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The sentence hearing for a Kildare man convicted of raping his former partner has been adjourned after the man's lawyers told the court that the defendant has contracted Covid.

After a trial at the Central Criminal Court last December, the 31-year- old man was found guilty of 14 counts of rape, one of harassment and three of making threats to kill or cause serious harm.

The defendant, who had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, cannot be named at this juncture to protect the anonymity of the victim.

The rape offences and the harassment offence took place on dates in August 2017 and the threats to kill were made on Christmas Eve 2016.

The case was listed for sentence today when defending counsel Desmond Hayes BL told trial judge Mr Justice Paul Burns that his client was not present because he has tested positive for Covid.

He said that the defendant had taken a PCR test two days ago with the HSE and on Tuesday he received a text from the HSE stating the test had tested positive for Coronavirus.

Justice Burns said he was not happy with the situation and that he was initially concerned that the defendant was “playing ducks and drakes” with the court.

He told Mr Hayes that generally in cases such as this the defendant would normally have automatically gone into custody on conviction, but that he made an exception to afford an opportunity for the defendant to obtain reports from a medical practitioner.

The court heard that this was delayed because the defendant had tested positive for Covid, on an antigen test, on a previous occasion.

Justice Burns said he accepted now that the defendant has contracted Covid and that it's a medical matter. He told the complainant, who was present in court, that he understood how upsetting it was for her to have the matter adjourned.

He remanded the defendant on continuing bail to February 2 next for sentence. He asked the garda present to keep a close eye on any breach of the terms and conditions of bail, which were set last December.

These include that the defendant have no contact with the victim, surrender his passport, “be of sober habits” and maintain a daily curfew indoors overnight.

Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, told the court that the complainant was eager to have the matter dealt with as early as possible.

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Christy Ring Report

Cathal McCabe of Kildare in action against Daniel Huane of Mayo during the Christy Ring Cup Final match between Kildare and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo:Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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