An Omagh man has appeared in court on charges relating to suspicious approaches to teenage boys, during separate incidents in County Tyrone towns on the same day.
Twenty-seven year old Gerard McDonagh of Killyclogher Road is accused of approaching a 13 year old in Omagh on 1 June. Later that day he is accused of approaching a 14 year old in Cookstown.
Both matters allege McDonagh incited the teenagers to engage in sexual activity.
He is further accused of driving dangerously in central Cookstown after the alleged suspicious approach of the 14 year old.
A police officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court all charges could be connected.
There is also an investigation underway on identical allegations.
Under cross examination by a defence solicitor, the officer confirmed McDonagh’s vehicle had been seized.
The defence told the court, “It is my understanding no evidential value to the investigation was discovered in the car, yet police have indicated they are seeking to retain the vehicle and then seek a destruction order once the case is completed. I contend this pre-empts the case.”
But the police officer said the car was being retained under suspicions that it had been used in the commission of an offence.
At this the defence pressed for the car to be released back to McDonagh to allow him to travel to work, as his job is currently at risk.
However District Judge John Meehan refused to rule without further submissions.
He said, “You are seeking the return of a vehicle which is manifestly connected to an alleged offence. It will be necessary to hear arguments as to why this should be considered.”
The case was adjourned until 11 July.
In the meantime McDonagh was remanded on £300 bail and ordered to reside at an address known to police; refrain from entering Cookstown as defined by the 30mph limit and have no contacted with the victims or witnesses. In addition he is banned from being alone with anyone under 16 years of age, with the exception of his sister.