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Jury discharged in ‘sex assault’ case

THE jury was discharged in the trial of a man who was accused of committing 20 sexual offences against children in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, at Ennis Circuit Court on Tuesday.

The charges included sexual assault and defilement of a child aged under 15 and defilement of a child aged under 17 on dates in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The defendant is the partner of a close relative of the alleged victim, and the complainant was a frequent visitor to their home at certain times, while she also spent time living with them.
During the years in which the alleged abuse occurred the defendant and his partner had lived at different addresses in the three counties.

Evidence was heard on Wednesday and Thursday of last week and again on Tuesday of this week. On Tuesday morning a woman who worked at a school attended by the victim was giving evidence and outlined some details of her interactions with the complainant.

During her evidence an adjournment was requested and Judge Gerald Keys subsequently discharged the jury, saying that he was doing so in the interests of preserving the assumption of innocence and giving a fair trial.

The case is due to come before the court again in October, with the defendant, who is in his mid 30s, remanded on bail until then.

Eight men and four women sat on the jury and they have all been exempted from jury duty for the next four years.

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