Legal aid extended in 
underage sex case

A man accused of having underage sex with a 15 year old girl, had his free legal aid extended at Dundalk Circuit Court last week so he can be represented by a Senior Counsel.

A man accused of having underage sex with a 15 year old girl, had his free legal aid extended at Dundalk Circuit Court last week so he can be represented by a Senior Counsel.

The defendant - who cannot be named for legal reasons is charged with two counts of engaging in a sexual act with a girl under the age of 17, at a location in County Louth on the 15th of May 2010.

Last Friday Defence barrister Lily Buckley B.L renewed her application for legal aid certificate to be extended for a Senior Counsel in the case.

She said it had come to her attention that there are two other defilement cases on the Circuit Court list locally and in both instances the defendants are represented by Senior Counsel.

She argued that it would appear that her client is being treated differently to the other defednants - who she said were facing fewer counts.

Ms. Buckley added that in her view, her client’s case is more complicated than the others as she said there was an issue of DNA transferability and they are awaiting a report from an expert in England.Ms. Buckley argued it was a very unusual feature in the case and said she did not renew her application lightly. Judge Michael O’Shea said he would extend the legal aid certificate for a second counsel “with some degree of reluctance”.