'Deaf-mute' sex offender denied bail again as judge brands conduct 'wilful contempt'
A convicted sex offender from Belfast who claims to be deaf-mute has again been refused bail, after a judge ruled his conduct toward the court amounts to "wilful contempt".
Abraham Jakobovits (41) is currently in custody and appeared before Dungannon Magistrates Court by video-link for an unusual committal hearing where his lawyer responded on his behalf.
Most committals for prisoners involve the individual being presented in person to reply to questions put by the court.
However, because of Jakobovits' ongoing claim that he cannot hear or speak, the judge ruled proceedings could be conducted by video-link.
Jakobovits, from Fortwilliam Gardens in Belfast, is charged with dishonestly receiving a Sony Camcorder stolen from Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church between December 18 and 22, 2017.
Although unrelated to this, but discovered at the time of arrest, Jakobovits is further charged with breaching the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) between October 10 and December 22, 2017, by failing to notify police of his home address within three days of release from prison.
This meant as a convicted sex offender, Jakobovits' whereabouts were unknown to authorities for two-and-a-half months, and only established on his arrest for the alleged camcorder theft. The charges were read to Jakobovits, who remained silent.
Responding on his behalf to both counts, his lawyer said: "I can confirm the charge is understood."
District Judge John Meehan ruled there is a case to answer and ordered Jakobovits to be committed for trial to Dungannon Crown Court, with an arraignment date to be fixed in January.
At a separate recent hearing, a judge rejected Jakobovits' third application for a sign-language interpreter, stating: "It is my understanding this defendant is selective in his claims to be deaf and mute. There is no evidence to show he is either. Nor is there any evidence he understands sign language."
Judge Meehan also threw out the defence's bail application, saying: "Bail is absolutely refused without any deep consideration. The defendant is not prepared to address the justice system and it will respond accordingly.
"He treats the entire process with wilful contempt."