Pen­sioner charged with breach­ing court or­der

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS -

A 69-YEAR- OLD liv­ing The Bal­lagh was ar­rested and brought be­fore the District Court in Wex­ford last week on sus­pi­cion of breach­ing a court or­der re­strict­ing his ac­tiv­i­ties on line.

Bail was de­nied in the case of au­thor Do­rian Cow­land (69) with an ad­dress at Knock­navey in The Bal­lagh who stood charged un­der the Sex Of­fend­ers Act by plain clothes Garda John Cleary.

The garda ex­plained that he was re­spon­si­ble for ad­min­is­tra­tion of the sex of­fend­ers reg­is­ter in the area.

He told how he car­ried out a rou­tine in­spec­tion of com­put­ers at Cow­land’s home and dis­cov­ered that a pro­gramme had been in­stalled which pre­vented any in­spec­tion of the browser his­tory.

A war­rant was later ob­tained and two com­put­ers were seized and ex­am­ined.

The garda noted that the de­fen­dant was bound by a Cir­cuit Court de­ci­sion made in July which obliged Cow­land not to make any con­tact with any child un­der 17 years of age.

Af­ter ex­am­in­ing the un­locked com­put­ers, the wit­ness was con­cerned that the ac­cused had es­tab­lished aliases on line as Patrick Joseph Cor­mack, Paul Cur­ran and Paddy Fitzger­ald.

Un­der the Fitzger­ald name it was al­leged that he set up a Face­book ac­count and at­tempted to search for cer­tain par­ties in the UK.

The wit­ness con­tended that this ac­tiv­ity was in breach of the Cir­cuit Court or­der.

Garda Cleary was con­cerned that his pris­oner, if re­leased, would be a flight risk and a dan­ger to chil­dren.

In sup­port of this view, it was al­leged that the de­fen­dant had been search­ing on line for prop­er­ties for sale in France.

He had also, the court was told, made some en­quiries about ob­tain­ing an In­dian pass­port as well as re­cently re­new­ing his Ir­ish pass­port.

Solic­i­tor Ed King said his client was pre­pared to put up €5,000 cash and the ti­tle deeds of his home in Knock­navey if granted bail.

How­ever, the pros­e­cu­tion was not con­vinced.

Cow­land was a man with plenty of means, ob­served the garda, who in­di­cated that fur­ther charges were pos­si­ble.

Also called into the wit­ness box was En­nis­cor­thy based Garda Paul Parle who said he had a mas­ter’s de­gree in com­puter foren­sics from UCD.

He re­called vis­it­ing the de­fen­dant’s home with his col­league John Cleary on Oc­to­ber 13.

They went up­stairs where they logged on to two de­vices, with the as­sis­tance of the de­fen­dant, and found it was pos­si­ble to view only one day of the browser his­tory.

How­ever, Garda Parle dis­abled the browser blocker so that the of­fi­cers were able to look at ac­tiv­i­ties on pre­vi­ous dates.

Do­rian Cow­land was wear­ing a brown jacket and dark coloured roll-neck shirt as he fol­lowed pro­ceed­ings.

Mr King in­di­cated that his client would be plead­ing not guilty and urged the court to agree with him that the ac­cused was en­ti­tled to bail.

The pro­ceed­ings were bound to take some time and it was not yet de­cided whether the mat­ter will be heard in the Cir­cuit or District Court.

Cow­land was pre­pared to of­fer €5,000 in cash, or more if re­quired.

Judge Ger­ard Haughton, who cited the O’Cal­laghan rules to guide him­self, was not dis­posed to grant bail.

He felt that a prop­erty can be sold with­out the ti­tle deeds and said he had never known deeds to be sub­mit­ted in this way to se­cure bail.

He noted garda ev­i­dence that Cow­land had made ef­forts to­wards ob­tain­ing a pass­port abroad.

He had also been re­search­ing prop­er­ties in France on the in­ter­net.

The fact that he had logged on to the In­dian em­bassy gave the court cause for con­cern.

The de­fen­dant was re­manded in cus­tody for a week, to the sit­ting of De­cem­ber 4.

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