42-year-old Ballyshannon man charged with child sex offences

A 42-year-old man was accused of child-sex offences at Ballyshannon District Court today.

Patrick Lenihan of Erne Street. Ballyshannon, was accused of exploiting children, exposing himself in his window, and having child pornography on his mobile phone.

Some of the summonses were issued under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998.

Lenihan was accused of committing offences in different parts of Ballyshanon on August 4, 2011, October 23, 2010, June 8, 2011, and between October 15 and 23, 2010.

Garda Martin McCarron gave evidence that Lenihan replied to caution on four charges. To the first he said “I apologise for that.” To the second he said: “I didn’t do that one.” On the third he replied “I didn’t even touch them.” And the fourth time he said “I didn’t put those on my phone.”

Garda Laura Dillon, who put a further charge to him, said he didn’t reply to caution in that instance.

Inspector Denis Joyce said Lenihan was currently on bail. He asked that one charge be amended to change it from “sexual exploitation of a child” to “sexual exploitation of children.”

The Inspector asked that bail include conditions that Lenihan report to Ballyshannon Garda Station every day, not engage in any act of indecency in a public place, not frequent areas where children congregated, and not access the Internet in a public place.

Judge Kevin Kilrane remanded Lenihan on bail on those conditions to Ballyshannon District Court on April 20 for the preparation of a book of evidence in readiness for possible trial at the Circuit Court.

Judge Kilrane did not prohibit publication of the defendant's name.