Accused complains at delay in sex trial

A lawyer for a man accused of sex with a schoolgirl when she was 12 and 13 today (Mon) complained about public concern at the trial delay.
Peter Nolan said his client – one of five accused of a series of sex offences against the girl – is ready for his trial for offences committed in 2003.
One man from Ballyshannon was jailed last June, 34-year-old former Army private Kenneth McDonald, a father of three, on four counts of sex assaults on the girl in the South Donegal area.
Defence lawyers won a right for all trials to be heard separately.
But Judge John O’Hagan said today at Donegal Circuit Court that each trial could take three or four days and he would have to further adjourn them.
But Mr Nolan said with the likelihood of a prison sentence hanging over his client he was anxious for the trial to go ahead.
Mr Nolan added that the public were having concerns over the delay since one trial had already been completed.
But the judge said the court rises at the end of this week and he wasn’t prepared to sit on Saturday or Sunday.
He adjourned all cases to the next sitting in June and said he was indicating to the State and the Court Services that the trials should be held as soon as possible.
The girl is now 19.
The defendants, now aged from 24 to 34, are accused of a series of sexual assaults on her in South Donegal between July 1st and November 30th, 2003.