A MAGUIRESBRIDGE man who is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl has been denied bail after allegedly hiding behind a tree and watching her last weekend.
The man, who the Herald is not naming to protect the identity of the alleged victim, had been on bail of charges of sexual assault on a child and possessing a class B drug, namely cannabis.
He appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Omagh Police Station having been arrested for breaching his bail by allegedly making contact with the girl on Saturday.
The man had initially been arrested on March 26 for what police said was an “allegation of a sexual nature” and was released on police bail with a number of conditions, including having no contact with the girl or her mother.
A police officer told the court the man had breached these conditions a few times by contacting the mother of the alleged victim, shouting and swearing at her.
When the man appeared in court again in May, the officer said police had asked for a condition to be put on his bail preventing him from entering Maguiresbridge, however, this had been denied by the sitting judge at the time.
Then on Saturday, June, 19 police were contacted by the alleged victim’s mother who said the teenager had been in a park in the village with her friends when she became aware of a man watching her from behind a tree, however, she could not see who it was.
In her statement to police, the girl said the man then came out from behind the tree and she realised it was the defendant, who was then joined by a female she recognised from the area. The girl left and called her mother who contacted police.
In his evidence during Monday’s bail hearing, the defendant denied this, stating he was on Maguiresbridge Main Street watching a parade the entire time along with his brother and the woman mentioned by the girl in her statement.
He said he had not seen the alleged victim, but said the female he was with had seen her mother pass them in her car.
Applying for bail on Monday, defence solicitor Myles McManus also applied to have the man allowed to have his bail address changed from Enniskillen to a family address in Maguiresbridge.
District Judge Steven Keown said after careful consideration he was “entirely satisfied” the bail breach took place, and refused the application to release the defendant as he said he did not “believe he can be managed by bail conditions.”
Pointing out the man can appeal the decision at the High Court, Judge Keown adjourned the case until June, 28.
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