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The man appeared in court this week via video link from prison where he is on remand.

First coercive control charges before Clare court

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A MAN has appeared in court charged with sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning a woman on multiple occasions over a two-year period in Clare.

The 47-year-old man has also been charged with coercive control of his spouse in what is understood to be the first domestic violence charge of its kind to be brought before the courts in Clare.

In total, the man is facing 22 charges comprising 12 counts of sexual assault; six counts of false imprisonment; two counts of assault causing harm; one count of criminal damage and one count of coercive control.

The charges arise from alleged offences at two locations in Clare, allegedly committed on various dates between 2018 and 2020. The case concerns one alleged female victim.

The charge of coercive control states that on a date unknown between January 1, 2019 and May 5, 2020, the accused man did knowingly and persistently engage in behaviour that was controlling or coercive and which had a serious effect on a relevant person who is his spouse.

The alleged offence is contrary to section 39 of the Domestic Violence Act 2018. The man appeared before Kilrush District Court on Tuesday, October 19.

Detective Garda Cathy Burke of the Clare garda division’s protective services unit gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution.

Detective Burke told the court the man was arrested Tuesday morning before being brought to a garda station in Clare.

The court heard the man made no reply to the charges after caution.

Sergeant Aiden Lonergan told the court that a file in the matter has been prepared and the case is proceeding on indictment to the circuit criminal court.

Sergeant Lonergan said he would inform the accused’s solicitor if the book of evidence is not ready by the next court date.

Legal aid was granted in the name of solicitor John Casey.

Judge Mary Larkin remanded the accused on conditional bail to appear again in court on November 16.

Under the terms of his bail, the man must reside at a named address, surrender his passport and undertake not to apply for a new passport or any other travel documents.

Judge Larkin told the man he must not have any contact with the alleged victim or any alleged witness other than for a specific purpose outlined in court.
Reporting restrictions are in place.

by Ronan Judge

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