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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 26 January 2022

Taxi driver appears in court charged with raping a woman in his car in Dublin

Granting bail, Judge John O’Leary ordered that the man “refrain from driving a taxi”.

File photo. Taxi rank.
File photo. Taxi rank.
Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Rollingnews.ie

A TAXI DRIVER has been charged with raping a woman in his car in Dublin.

The arrest followed a garda appeal for information described as “a high-profile media campaign” which also involved a feature on RTE’s Crimecall programme.

The man, aged 35, a foreign national who also has Irish citizenship, was arrested today at his home in Dublin.

Gardaí had received directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for trial on indictment.

He was charged with two counts of rape and two other charges of oral rape of the woman, who was in her twenties, at Emmet Street, in Dublin’s north-inner city, in the early hours of 9 December last.

He was brought before Judge John O’Leary at Dublin District Court today where bail was set at €6,000 with a requirement to abide by strict conditions, including a ban on driving a taxi.

Dressed in a hooded top, the accused, who remained silent during the hearing, denies the charges, his solicitor said.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Kelly told the court the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had nothing to say when he was charged at Irishtown Garda station.

‘Flight risk’

The DPP has directed the man should be returned for trial to the Central Criminal Court, however, a book of evidence has not yet been completed.

Detective Sergeant Kelly objected to bail on the grounds of “flight risk due to the seriousness of the charges”.

He said the accused was a foreign national but agreed with defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony that the man also had an Irish passport.

He accepted the accused had lived in Ireland for more than a decade and there was no issue about his address or identity. He also had relatives in Ireland.

Detective Sergeant Kelly said the man had a network of relations in the UK and in the country of his birth. “The issue is that he would have a support network,” he submitted.

He also said the accused left the country after the alleged incident and a public appeal for information but he subsequently returned.

O’Mahony put it the detective that his client had made contact with gardai through his solicitor and his brother.

Detective Sergeant Kelly said the incident is alleged to have happened between 3am and 4am on December 9 last year. There was a high-profile media campaign at the time and it was featured on the Crimecall programme, he said.

He agreed with the solicitor that if the man had stayed abroad, extradition would have not have been an easy task.

Pleading for bail, O’Mahony said his client returned and had been interviewed in January and “maintained a narrative of not guilty and is denying the charges”.

He also submitted that the accused could remain in custody for two years before the trial was reached if he was denied bail.

O’Mahony argued that his client had no criminal history, had not fled in the months since he was questioned and he had a presumption of innocence as well as a constitutional right to bail.

If he were someone who wanted to avoid justice he would not have returned, the solicitor submitted.

He also said his client had surrendered his passports and would obey strict conditions.

Granted bail

Judge O’Leary granted bail in the sum of €6,000 and ordered the accused to obey a 10pm to 6am curfew, to reside at his current address, “refrain from driving a taxi”, and to sign on daily at his local garda station.

The judge also ordered him to stay away from the complainant and to remain out of parts of Dublin. He was also told he had to give the detective sergeant his phone number and be contactable at all times.

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail on these terms and will face his next hearing on Thursday at Cloverhill District Court.

The man’s former partner was also present for the hearing, the court was told.

Legal aid was granted.

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Tom Tuite

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