A Dublin taxi driver has been accused of raping a young woman passenger in the back of his car.
The man, in his late forties, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Judge Patricia Cronin at Dublin District Court on Wednesday.
Following directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions, gardaí charged him with raping the passenger, in her early twenties, in the early hours of August 9th.
He was remanded in custody with consent to €2,500 bail with a range of strict conditions.
Detective Ultan McIlroy told Judge Cronin he arrested the accused on Tuesday night, brought him to Balbriggan Garda station and charged him.
The court heard the man “made no reply” to the charge but had earlier claimed he had consensual sex with the woman.
Objecting to bail, the detective referred to the seriousness of the case. He told the contested bail hearing that the accused collected the injured party outside a Dublin city centre venue at about 4am to bring her home.
It was alleged he turned down a male passenger before accepting a fare from the complainant, who sat in the back seat.
The court heard that there was CCTV evidence and he was later “observed driving around aimlessly” in north Co Dublin for about 13 minutes.
It was alleged he stopped and got into the back seat, and raped the young woman for eight minutes.
The court heard he then drove her home after using his phone to locate the house.
The detective feared the man would interfere with the alleged injured party.
Questioned by defence solicitor Danielle O’Sullivan, Detective Garda McIlroy told the court he believed the accused, married with children, was no longer welcome at his home.
Ms O’Sullivan asked the court to disregard speculation that her client would interfere with witnesses.
Judge Cronin noted the testimony, cross-examination and defence submissions and said the accused faced an extremely serious charge with a potential life sentence. However, he was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and the court had to consider if it could impose conditions.
She held that there was insufficient evidence to refuse bail.
Among the conditions set out by Judge Cronin, the man was told to stay out of parts of Dublin and have no contact with the injured party or witnesses. He was told not to carry out any taxi work for himself or a third party.
The judge granted the man legal aid. Judge Cronin remanded him in custody with consent to bail to appear at Cloverhill District Court on August 31st.