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French man accused of exposing himself in Belfast remanded

Published 27/09/2016

Oliver Meriaux charged with committing indecent exposure and common assault
Oliver Meriaux charged with committing indecent exposure and common assault

A man was remanded in custody today accused of exposing himself and threatening two women with a crutch.

Oliver Meriaux, 31, was allegedly on a Belfast street with his boxer shorts round his ankles less than eight hours after police released him over a similar suspected incident.

The French national, with an address at Broadway in the city, is charged with committing indecent exposure and two common assaults on Monday evening.

As he appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court a PSNI constable opposed bail due to concerns for the safety of the accused and others.

Meriaux has not been charged over the first incident on Monday, with a report instead set to be sent to the Pubic Prosecution Service.

But the police constable claimed members of the public then confronted the defendant later the same day due to further alleged behaviour.

"Less than eight hours later a man had to challenge him, and he threatened two ladies walking past with a crutch," he told the court.

"This happened at 9.30pm, the other incident happened during the day when children were playing in the street. There's an escalation in the offending."

A defence lawyer revealed Meriaux has alcohol problems and cannot remember what happened.

"He does deny any altercation but has no memory," she said.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told the accused has lived in Northern Ireland for 11 years, working in the construction industry.

Refusing bail, she stressed her duty to protect the public.

"People are not going to be confronted with this sort of behaviour and then threatened or assaulted when they unfortunately encounter it," she added.

Meriaux was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link in two weeks time. ends  

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