Wednesday 22 October 2014

Rapist who attacked two girls to appeal his sentence

Brian McDonald and John Fallon

Published 24/03/2014 | 02:30

The 30-year-old man is accompanied by gardai as he leaves a courthouse last year
Courts of Criminal Justice

A man who repeatedly raped two little girls is mounting a legal challenge to his sentence, as he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his days behind bars.

The 30-year-old father of two has appealed the two life terms imposed on him by Mr Justice Paul Carney in the Central Criminal Court three weeks ago.

His solicitor Gearoid Geraghty confirmed that he had received instructions and an appeal had been lodged with the Court of Criminal Appeal.

"The appeal is on the grounds that the sentence was excessive in all of the circumstances," Mr Geraghty said.

The shocking case had effectively been fast-tracked through the courts after the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, acknowledged at the earliest stage that he would be pleading guilty and waived his right to the book of evidence.

He admitted all five charges – three counts of rape of a nine-year-old and two counts of rape of a six-year-old girl on September 28, 2013.

Imposing two concurrent life sentences, the judge said that in the normal course of events, he would be entitled to a substantial discount for pleading guilty, but the case was too serious.

At the harrowing sentencing hearing on March 3, the court heard that the little girls had been attending a birthday party when the man lured them to a flat, pretending he had a six-year-old daughter who was too shy to come out to play.

Once inside he violently raped the children, threatened to cut their throats and told them he would cut their parents' throats if they did not do as he said.

Defence senior counsel Martin Giblin told the sentencing hearing that his client had indicated at a very early stage that he wanted to co-operate with the investigation.

Mr Giblin said the offences were extremely serious – as serious as any that had come before the court – and he did not want anything he said to be understood as diminishing the seriousness of the offences or the impact on the girls and their families.

INCENTIVE

But he told Mr Justice Carney that an indeterminate sentence was not called for in this case. There was no evidence in the man's medical background of paedophilia, he stressed.

He came from a very difficult family background and he said the extent of his co-operation had to be taken into account.

Mr Giblin said if the court imposed an indeterminate sentence in this case there would be no incentive for others to plead guilty in such cases.

Counsel for the DPP said these offences were at the upper end of the scale because of the nature of the behaviour, the age of the victims, the premeditation and the multiplicity of the assaults.

Irish Independent

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