A man who was before Athy District Court last Tuesday, May 23, on a charge of sexual assault on a minor was refused his passport to go on holiday this week.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was already on bail on 173 charges of sexual assault on three minors. He is due to appear before the Circuit Court in Naas in June.
The defendant made an application to vary his bail at Athy District Court on Tuesday last so that he could go on holiday the next day. His solictor said the trip had been booked for a “long time” and the defendant pledged to phone gardaí every day while abroad.
He added his client was travelling to Europe and he wanted to mention that a European Arrest Warrant could be issued if required.
The Garda giving evidence said that the accused had not informed her of his holiday plans. She found out they were booked through a third party.
The Garda said she would have a concern over the return of the passport and that the allegations they defendant is facing are “very serious”.
The defendant told the court that he was 'innocent' and that he booked the holiday last Christmas.
He made the application to vary his bail conditions in order to get his passport back. However, the court heard that once a matter is gone forward for trial the application to vary the bail conditions cannot be approved.
Judge Desmond Zaidan acknowleged that the defendant is presumed innocent. However, he said that he was “snookered” and could not grant the application.
The defendant was also before the court on a new charge, date unknown, of sexual assault on a minor.
A book of evidence relating to the new charge will be served on September 7 next.