An Irish man who was jailed for trying to entice a child for indecent purposes was told to “go and live in a tent” by a probation officer in the United States, the Court of Appeal was told on Tuesday.
Martin ___(46) was caught in a police sting in the State of Georgia after he sent a nude selfie to an Internet chatroom user he believed was 13-year-old girl.
He later fled the US to Ireland while on probation, and has been fighting attempts to extradite him back across the Atlantic where he is wanted by the Chatham County Sheriff’s office in Georgia for an alleged breach of his bail conditions.
Mr Justice Paul Burns ruled at the High Court last October that there was no basis to refuse ___’s surrender to US authorities and ordered his extradition.
At the Court of Appeal on Tuesday Shane Costelloe SC, for ____ , said the main reason his client left the US was because of Georgia’s strict sex offenders legislation. This restricts ___from living anywhere whilst on probation that is within 300 metres of areas where children might congregate.
These areas not only included schools and parks, but also shopping malls and bus stops and had effectively made him homeless, counsel explained.
Live in a tent
Mr Costello said this restriction had also resulted in Wall losing his job and had forced to him to live in a tent in a camp alongside other sex offenders on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia.
He said his client has been the victim of violence as a result of his homelessness, and was forced to dig “his own latrine” in the earth because there were no toilet facilities at the camp.
When ____ first informed his probation officer that he faced being made homeless because the 300-metre rule was making it impossible for him to find anywhere to live, Mr Costelloe said his client was told to “go and live in a tent”.
“He ends up living in a tent in a homeless facility at the side of train tracks, where he experiences violence on a nightly basis,” counsel added.
In response, Patrick McGrath SC, for the Attorney General, said Mr Justice Burns had been entitled to reach his decision and that _____ was being returned to the US “to serve a sentence of imprisonment”.
“This is not a case where the appellant would be required to live in tent,” he said.
“The likely outcome in this case is that he would receive a period of detention.”