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The children's court in in Smithfield, Dublin. Niall Carson/PA
Dublin Children's Court

Boy accused of defilement of another young boy opts for jury trial

The boy, now aged 15, faces two charges for engaging in oral and anal sex with a child under the age of 15.

A THEN 12-YEAR-OLD Dublin boy accused of defilement of another young boy has opted for a jury trial in the circuit court.

The boy, now aged 15, faces two charges under the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006 for engaging in oral and anal sex with a child under the age of 15.

It allegedly occurred on a date in 2017, when the accused was aged 12, outside his home in south Dublin. He denies the charges.

The boy appeared at the Dublin Children’s Court today. 

Detective Garda Sarah Barry gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution. The teen made no reply when charged, Judge Brendan Toale heard.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had recommended that the teen’s case should be dealt with on indictment at the circuit court level, which has wider sentencing powers.

Under Section 75 of the Children Act, however, the non-jury juvenile court has discretion to retain jurisdiction for many serious category offences by taking into account the defendant’s age, their level of maturity as well as other relevant information.

This procedure requires a preliminary hearing with a summary of the prosecution evidence and legal submissions from the defence.

However, the teen’s barrister Keith Spencer told Judge Toale a “section 75 hearing” was not necessary.

Counsel said the teenager had already been offered the chance to avoid court proceedings by having the matter dealt with through the Garda juvenile diversion programme.

However, that was predicated on an admission of guilt and the boy “resolutely asserts his innocence”. His wish was to have a jury trial, court heard.

The teenager was accompanied to court by his mother.

He spoke briefly to confirm he did not want the trial to be in the Children’s Court and that he would go before a jury instead.

Judge Toale informed him that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence he must notify the prosecution within 14 days.

The judge then made the return for trial order after the book of evidence was served on the teenager in court by Detective Garda Barry.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sent forward for trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where the case will be listed for mention again in June.

Arraignment and trial dates will be set later.

There was no objection to bail. Legal aid was granted.