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Man accused of attempted abduction of eight-year-old girl in supermarket sent for trial

It was alleged the accused approached the girl while her mother had her back turned.

File image of empty courtroom.
File image of empty courtroom.
Image: PA Images

A MAN ACCUSED of attempted abduction of an eight-year-old girl at a Co Monaghan supermarket claims it was “a practical joke that went horribly wrong”, a court has heard.

Father-of-two Catalin Ianco, a Romanian national, who had a previous address at Shercock, Co Cavan but is now of no fixed abode, was refused bail today by Judge Victor Blake at Cloverhill District Court.

A book of evidence was served and Judge Blake agreed to grant the DPP’s request for a return for trial order. He sent the accused forward to Monaghan Circuit Court where he will face his next hearing on 12 January.

Ianco listened to the proceedings with the help of an interpreter.

Defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony said his client contests the charge and will say it was “a practical joke that went horribly wrong”. He pleaded for bail saying his client could spend a lengthy period in custody pending his trial.

He argued that Ianco was not a flight risk; he had several family members in living in Ireland and he had previously resided with an uncle in Co Cavan.

Objecting to bail, Garda Mark Doherty, of Carrickmacross Garda Station, told the Judge Blake the accused is charged with abduction under Section 17 of the Non-Fatal Offences against a Person Act.

It was alleged the incident took place at the Lidl supermarket at Magheross, Carrickmacross, on 14 September last.

It was alleged the accused approached an eight-year-old girl while her mother had her back turned. Garda Doherty said Ianco attempted to drag her, before she screamed and her mother grabbed her.

The girl was uninjured, except for some redness to her arm. Garda Doherty said the accused previously lived in Germany and was a flight risk.

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Garda Doherty agreed that the accused left the supermarket afterwards but waited in an uncle’s car outside and he did not try to hide.

He also agreed with O’Mahony that when his client was questioned he described the incident as a joke, and he has always maintained he was not guilty.

Mahony said his client instructed him he saw a man he knew in the supermarket. He believed the girl was his acquaintance’s child.

He would abide by conditions if bail was granted, the solicitor submitted. However, the application was denied. Legal aid was granted for his trial.

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Tom Tuite

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