A JUDGE has refused to strike out the case of a Limerick city man who faces multiple counts of rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment.
The defendant, who is aged 34, is accused of raping a woman 34 times over the course of a week earlier this year.
He is also charged with seven counts of falsely imprisoning the same woman, two counts of sexually assaulting her and with five counts of assaulting her causing her harm.
It is alleged the woman, who is from the southside of the city, was “pulled from a taxi” on May 3, last by a number of men who bundled her into another vehicle before taking her to a flat near the city centre.
All of the rape offences are alleged to have happened at this address while the woman was allegedly being held against her will. It is further alleged that she was assaulted at two other locations in the city and that on one occasion she was “severely injured” when she was beaten across the legs with a shovel.
At Limerick Court this week, solicitor John Devane applied to have the matter “struck out” due to the delay in completing the book of evidence.
Sgt Donal Cronin said the book was not ready due to the “volume and serious nature” of the charges .
Mr Devane submitted that the State was “well past the time for delivering the book of evidence” and he said it was impinging on his (client’s) right to a fair and expeditious trial”.
Opposing the application, Sgt Cronin, said the rape charges were only preferred on the defendant last month and he rejected suggestions there had been any undue delay.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly noted the defendant was refused bail when he first appeared in court in May after he was initially charged with assaulting the woman.
He said the rape and sexual assault charges, which were preferred last month, were “significantly different in character” and he said he must look at the overall picture.
Refusing the application, he said: “I cannot hold that there has been an undue delay.”
The defendant was remanded in continuing custody for a month to facilitate the preparation of the book of evidence.