A 67-year-old bachelor was cleared of sexually assaulting a child, his neighbour, over ten years ago following a three-day trial in Castlebar Circuit Court.
The man, who cannot named for legal reasons, had been charged with ten counts of sexually assaulting his neighbour at his home between September 1998 and November 2001. The now 24-year-old woman claimed in court that the sexual abuse began when she was eleven years old. Evidence was heard over three days, and the jury of eight men and four women found the man not guilty on all counts.
The accused man was questioned by gardaí on April 1, 2010, when the allegations made by the woman were put to him in a four-hour interview. He denied the allegations, saying they were all lies.
Sergeant James Gill who investigated the case, said the accused man was not being investigated for similar allegations and had no previous convictions. When it was put to him that there were inconsistencies to the woman’s allegations, he replied that he ‘found her story remarkably consistent’.
After two hours and 20 minutes, the jury found the man not guilty by an unanimous verdict on all ten counts.
The accused was discharged and the jury thanked for their services.