Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone man (44) refused bail on charges of historical sexual abuse

A 44-year-old man has been refused bail on charges of historical sexual abuse against two children.

Darcy Gearoid McMenamin, with an address given as Glen Road, Drumquin, Co Tyrone is accused of indecently assaulting two children and committing an act of gross indecency in relation to one.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between January 1992 and December 1993.

McMenamin first appeared before Omagh Magistrates Court, sitting in Dungannon, last week. Asked then if he understood the charges, he replied: “Yes I do, but I don’t know what they are.”

Bail was not sought initially as he was “sofa-surfing” at the time of arrest with no confirmed address.

An application was mounted today but was strongly opposed by police, who outlined details of the alleged offences.

A detective constable said one complainant made a report to police in 2018, alleging McMenamin sexually assaulted her in a garden shed when she was around eight years old.

A second complainant recounted an alleged incident when she was aged around five, claiming McMenamin told her not to say anything or “Bad men would come and take her mummy and daddy away”.

After another alleged incident she was warned not to tell or “she would be taken away”.

The detective also said in the last week further referrals have been received involving two other children.

She said bail was being opposed on the basis of potential interference with the complainants and a risk of flight.

A defence lawyer said his client now has an address and would abide by any conditions imposed, adding: “These matters, which are strenuously denied, will go to crown court. The earliest date for trial will be next year."

District Judge Michael Ranaghan said they were very serious allegations" and while he is not convinced McMenamin would interfere with witnesses, he "can’t have the confidence he will remain in this jurisdiction”.

Bail was refused and McMenamin will appear again by video-link later this month.

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