09 Aug 2022

Laois man charged with sexually exploiting child

circuit court

Laois man charged with sexually exploiting child

A book of evidence has been served on a middle-aged Stradbally man who allegedly propositioned a youth for sex.

At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Liam Byrne (56), 1 Church Avenue, Stradbally, was charged with the sexual exploitation of a child, between June 29, 2017, and July 15, 2017.

When the case first came before the court in March, Detective Garda Brian Kennedy gave evidence that it was alleged that the accused had befriended the injured party, who was 17 at the time, and offered him alcohol and cannabis.

They exchanged numbers and a number of calls were made, with the accused allegedly propositioning the injured party to meet up for sex.

An agreement was allegedly made for them to meet up, but the injured party travelled to the agreed location with a number of his friends and an altercation ensued, which resulted in the accused having to seek medical attention.

After hearing the outline of the alleged facts, Judge Catherine Staines accepted jurisdiction in the case.

However, when the case returned to court in April, defence barrister for the accused said that in her opinion, this should be an indictable offence dealt with by the circuit court.

At last week’s court, a book of evidence was served on the accused. The matter was sent forward to Portlaoise Circuit Court on June 19 this year.

Legal aid was assigned to the accused, to include one junior counsel.

The accused was granted district court bail, with conditions that he sign on weekly at the garda station; he reside at his listed address and give the gardaí 48 hours’ notice of any change of address; he provide a telephone number to the gardaí; and he not approach three named individuals.

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