Thursday 17 October 2019

Wexford man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting his wife

Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel

A WEXFORD town man changed his plea at the Circuit Criminal Court to guilty, having earlier pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting his wife.

Gerard Byrne, of 30 Carrigeen Street, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Kathy Byrne, on August 6, 2013.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting Kathy Byrne causing her harm on the same occasion.

When the defendant was initially arraigned before a jury of six men and six women at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court, he had pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault charge, but guilty to the charge of assault causing harm.

The trial before Judge Barry Hickson, had been adjourned on Thursday, October 29, after more than two days of legal argument.

The previous day, in the course of that legal argument, both the defence and prosecution, along with Judge Hickson, had travelled from the Wexford sitting to Bray Courthouse to hear for the evidence of Inspector Denis Whelan, who was a Sergeant in Wexford town during the time of the investigation.

Inspector Whelan was involved in a case in Dublin, leaving him unable to attend Wexford Courthouse on Wednesday.

The hearing had moved to Bray at the request of Defence Counsel, Sara Phelan. The evidence of Inspector Whelan lasted no more than ten minutes.

When the trial resumed last Tuesday morning, Prosecuting Counsel, Sinead Gleeson, told Judge Hickson that the defendant could be arraigned again. Sinead Phelan, for the Defence, agreed.

When the defendant was re-arraigned before the jury he entered a guilty plea on the sexual assault charge.

Ms Phelan asked the court to adjourn the matter to allow time for the preparation of various reports, including a Probation and Welfare report. She also applied for the free legal aid to be extended to cover a psychological report.

Ms Gleeson said she had no objection to the applications. She also said that the victim is waiving her anonymity.

The defendant at the time of the offence was the then husband of the victim, she said. She also asked that there be a Victim Impact report be prepared.

There was no objection to bail and Byrne was remanded on continuing bail to the January sessions.

Wexford People