Man charged with ‘exploiting child’ unable to take up bail at Limerick court

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Limerick District Court
Limerick District Court

A 29-year old man who was stopped by gardai on the way to have sex with a young teenager has been further remanded in custody as he was unable to take up bail, a Limerick court has heard.

The man, who cannot be named by order of the court, has been charged with sexually exploiting a child.

It is the State’s case that the accused, who was intercepted by Gardai on May 9 last, was on his way to a hotel to have to meet the boy he had engaged with online and via messaging.

Now in his second week of custody, the 29-year-old was arrested and brought before Limerick District Court on May 11 where he was formally charged with sexually exploiting a child.

The offence is contrary to Section 3 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act and is alleged to have taken place between January 3 and February 10 of this year.

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During a previous bail objection, Garda Fiona O’Connell said that the 29-year-old booked a hotel room for Monday May 9 and also February 13

The man was to meet the teenage boy for sex but these meetings did not take place.

Garda O’Connell said that the accused sent the teenager provocative images and videos of himself masturbating within a week of befriending him through social media.

Disturbing videos involving another young male whose identity was unknown, were also found on the man’s phone.

A second phone belonging was found to have contained 56 naked images of the alleged injured party.

It was the State’s case that he was coerced into sending the images, the court was told.

After adjourning the case overnight, the 29-year-old was granted bail but only on a number of strict conditions including that an independent surety of €5,000 be provided and approved by both gardai and the court. The judge also ordered that half of money had to be lodged to the court.

Bail had not been achieved last week as defence solicitor Sarah Ryan said that the accused’s family was not aware he was arrested.

This Tuesday, the man appeared again in court in custody and Judge Larkin extended that remand for a further two weeks to allow the DPP give directions in the case.

If bail is taken up, the 29-year-old cannot have any unsupervised contact with children under 18, including family members and he must notify gardai in advance of any intention to travel within the jurisdiction.

He was also ordered to surrender his passport, and to away from the Internet and all social media platforms and told he cannot purchase or use any electronic equipment including any mobile phones with Internet access.

As part of his bail conditions the 29-year-old has to sign on daily at Roxboro Garda Station and was ordered not to have “absolutely no contact” with the alleged injured party or his family.

The accused is due to appear before Limerick District Court again on May 31 next via video link.