Swimming coach Matthew Coward, 31, has been charged with sexually exploiting girls in Dublin’s pool


A SWIMMING coach has appeared in court accused of sexually exploiting girls and producing child pornography at a Dublin swimming pool.

Atthew Coward, 31, has been released on bail and his case adjourned at Dublin District Court pending the establishment of a book of evidence.

Under bail conditions, he should stay away from the pool and refrain from coaching.

Mr Coward, with an address at Shantalla Drive, Santry, Dublin, is charged with 12 offenses under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

He is accused of the sexual exploitation of three girls and the production of child pornography in a swimming pool on seven counts.

He is also charged with possession of child pornography elsewhere on two counts.

The crimes are believed to have happened between September last year and February this year.

Garda Sergeant Shane Behan told Judge Joanne Carroll he arrested the accused at 6.55am this morning at his home and took him to Finglas Garda station.

Mr. Coward did not respond to the charges after being cautioned and was given copies of the charge sheets, Sgt. Behan said.

The Garda had no objection to conditional bail.

Judge Carroll granted bail of €200 for Mr Coward’s own bail, with no cash required. Under certain conditions, he must remain at his home address, register twice a week at Santry Garda train station, surrender his passport and not apply for new or different travel documents.

He should also be reachable at any time under a telephone number communicated to the gardai.

Mr. Coward is said to stay away from the swimming pool mentioned in the indictment and to have no direct or indirect contact with witnesses. He has to refrain from any coaching activity.

Sgt. Behan said the defendant had already turned over his passport and provided a phone number.

The DPP is leading the prosecution process, he said, and an evidence book is required before the accused can be sent to the district court for trial.

Judge Carroll has remanded Mr Coward on bail to appear in Blanchardstown District Court on September 13.

She granted free legal aid following a submission by defense attorney Damien Coffey, who provided a statement of his client’s financial resources.

“He is suitable from a financial point of view,” said the judge.

Dressed in a light blue shirt, gray trousers and brown shoes, Mr Coward indicated to the judge that he understood the bail terms.

He has not yet contested the charges. Swimming coach Matthew Coward, 31, has been charged with sexually exploiting girls in Dublin’s pool

Fry Electronics Team

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