independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Sentencing of serial sex offender for molesting two girls on the Luas adjourned

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The sentencing of a serial sex offender who molested two Limerick girls on the Luas while they were en-route to a Rihanna concert has been adjourned for a second time.

John Daly (53) was arrested by gardaí three months later as he was about to board the tram at the O2 following a One Direction concert.

He had been nominated as a suspect after gardaí viewed CCTV footage from the tram when the girls, aged 13 and 16, reported him.

Daly admitted during interview that he had deliberately got on the Luas, heading for the Rihanna concert, to touch young girls and get sexually aroused.

He said he had it “in my head to do it” and had been doing it “for my own satisfaction”.

Daly of Cabra Park, Phibsboro pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of sexual assault on October 3, 2011.

In February 2000 he was sentenced to three years with one suspended by Mr Justice Paul Carney in the Central Criminal Court for other sex charges. It was appealed by the Director of Public Prosecutions on the basis of leniency and increased to a six year term.

Daly had pleaded guilty to attempted rape and indecent assault charges relating to two young girls on dates from 1980 to 1984, and to aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault on a 62-year-old woman on dates from 1997 to 1998.

At a previous hearing related to the current charges, Judge Mary Ellen Ring revoked his bail and remanded him in custody until today for sentence. She ordered a report from the Probation Service to see what treatment Daly can undergo in jail.

Today/yesterday (THURS) Judge Ring agreed to a recommendation from the Probation Service to a further assessment of Daly and set a date for sentencing on April 28 next.

Garda Cathriona Gilmartin told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that the girls had been brought to Dublin by one of their fathers that day and he had put them on the Luas at Heuston Station when they noticed the heavy traffic.

The tram was busy and Daly approached one of the girls, stood to her right hand side and put his hands between her legs. He touched her outside her shorts and tights and continued to molest her until the group got off the stop at the O2.

The teenager later reported to gardaí that she felt she had “no way out” because she had been squashed against a bar. She said she didn’t know how to get out of the situation.

Daly touched the other teenager’s backside after she bumped into him and apologised for standing on his toe. She moved out of Daly’s way at the first opportunity she got.

The girl’s father was waiting for them at the platform at the O2 and they told him what had happened.

Both girls were able to give a good description of Daly. They continued onto the concert and later made statements to gardaí at their local station 

Victim impact reports were handed into Judge Ring but not read out. Neither the girls nor their families were in court.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said Daly had been a model prisoner while serving his earlier sentence but accepted that he had obviously not successfully dealt with “the demons in his mind” while in custody.

He said Daly is now committed to availing of any treatment he can while in prison

A report before the court concluded that he “functions in the mild intellectual disability range”.

Counsel said Daly wanted to apologise to the girls who had been on this “nightmare train journey” and said this “dreadful” incident should never have happened. <ends>

Additional evidence from 2000 sentence hearing

Daly came to a garda station and made a full voluntary admission of his offending.

Garda witnesses told prosecuting counsel Mr Patrick Gageby SC the sexual abuse took the form of indecent touching, digital penetration, placing his tongue in one of his victim's vagina, and pressing his penis against her body.

Complaints weren't made by the victims for a long time and they were all pleased he pleaded guilty so they didn't have to come to the court to give evidence. <ends>

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