Friday 22 September 2017

Serial rapist jailed for 18 months for DART assault on woman - and given curfew for next 10 years

Paul Moore
Paul Moore
Convicted rapist Paul Moore on his way around the city, freely mingling with unaware members of the public
Paul Moore (wearing cap) steps on board a Luas on Abbey Street. Pic Steve Humphreys

Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher

A rapist described as posing an indefinite danger to women has been jailed for 18 months for the sexual assault of a woman on a train.

Paul Moore (51) has been jailed six times for sexual offences over the last 25 years. He had been on bail awaiting sentencing for the offence which took place on the DART in 2014.

Judge Melanie Greally also ordered that Moore keep a curfew from 10pm to 8am for the next ten years.

Moore of Mountjoy Square, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the woman on the southside DART on August 28, 2014.

Judge Greally suspended the final 18 months of a three year sentence on strict conditions. These including remaining under Probation Services supervision for ten years and advising his monitoring officer and gardaí of any proposed change of address or mobile phone number.

He must also remain alcohol and intoxicant free when in public and address his alcohol use.

Judge Greally said that a report from the Probation Services noted that Moore expressed no remorse, had proved resistant to all efforts to rehabilitate him and posed an indefinite danger to adult females.

She said that alcohol was a major contributing factor to his offending.

Paul Moore (wearing cap) steps on board a Luas on Abbey Street. Pic Steve Humphreys
Paul Moore (wearing cap) steps on board a Luas on Abbey Street. Pic Steve Humphreys

Previously the court heard Moore assaulted the victim, an au pair, in 2014 as she was travelling home from college. Gardaí examined CCTV footage of the incident but Moore was not recognised on the video until two years later.

In the meantime, he sexually assaulted two women in separate incidents in the city centre after stopping them in the street and asking them for a cigarette. In 2015, he was jailed for 15 months for these attacks. He was released in April 2016 and was subject to probation supervision.

In that case, Judge Martin Nolan noted Moore “has a predisposition to violence towards women which manifests as rape and sexual assault”.

His other offences include raping a musician in 2001, for which he received ten years and raping another woman in 1995, for which he received seven years.

At a previous hearing in February Moore's defence counsel, Breffni Gordon BL, said he had spent a significant portion of his life in prison.

Counsel said there were conflicting opinions on what caused Moore to commit these crimes. One psychiatric report blamed a head injury he received in 1982 while another blamed an “organic personality disorder.”

Mr Gordon had asked the court to hear from Moore's case officer in the Probation Service to see if Moore could “deal with his problems” without going to prison.

Judge Greally said Moore's inability to desist from offending, no matter what punishment was imposed, was a matter of real concern to the court.

She said the court was sentencing Moore for this offence and not for past offences, for which he has already served sentences.

She said the legal system here did not allow for preventative detention regardless of how compelling the argument might be.

Evidence

Garda Peter Brown told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that Moore sat near the young woman on the DART and started making small talk. He then moved to the seat beside her and began commenting on her clothes.

Moore had a toy turtle in his hand which he said he found on the ground. He said he was looking for a child to give it to.

He told her, “you probably think I'm crazy” and asked why she was laughing even though she wasn't. The woman tried to ignore the man but he kept talking to her.

He began to touch her breasts and then pulled at her trousers. He stopped when another passenger sat near them.

The woman got off the DART before her stop because she didn't want Moore to know where she lived.

Garda Brown circulated CCTV of the incident but no one recognised Moore. However, when he did so again in 2016, Moore was recognised and arrested. He accepted it was him on the CCTV but said he could not remember the incident.

Moore's defence counsel said he lived a very isolated life and had been disowned by his family. He works one day a week in a charity shop.

Earlier in the hearing Mr Dwyer, for the DPP, handed into court a copy of a recent newspaper report with the headline “Get this rapist off our streets”. He said he was not making any application but felt the article should be brought to the court's attention.

Judge Greally said she was uninfluenced by headlines such as this but said “you'd want to be living on Planet Mars to be unaware of publicity this case has attracted”.

“Members of the judiciary are not living on Planet Mars,” she said.

Mr Gordon said his client had been photographed and identified and held up for public vilification. He said Moore has been profoundly upset by this and has been attacked in the street as a result of the publicity.

“Some say he has brought this upon himself,” he said but added he felt the article strained beyond fair comment.

Judge Greally said the offence in question lay at the lower end of the the scale but that the historical context of offending was of such an exceptional nature that she must depart from sentencing norms.

She said the apparently disproportionate period of supervision reflected the indefinite need for multi-agency monitoring of Moore.

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