Sunday 22 October 2017

Serial rapist Patrick O'Brien back in court as sentencing anger grows

Fionnan Sheahan and Anne-Marie Walsh

SERIAL rapist Patrick O'Brien is due back in court this morning amid growing public pressure for tougher sentences for sex offenders.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is expected to make an application in relation to the case of the 72-year-old who is currently free on bail.

O'Brien, of Old Court Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to the repeated rape of his daughter, Fiona Doyle, over a 10-year period. But he was released on bail earlier this week pending an appeal after having nine years of his 12-year sentence suspended.

The child rapist will appear before Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court this morning.

It is understood that the judge will deal with outstanding counts, while the DPP is expected to lodge an application, possibly an appeal of O'Brien's release on bail.

It comes amid growing public pressure for the introduction of sentencing guidelines for judges hearing rape cases.

Two rallies are planned for Saturday in support of Ms Doyle: a gathering outside the Dail at noon and a march in Bray at 4pm.

Members of Ms Doyle's family will represent her at both events.

Ms Doyle's daughter, Kristel O'Brien (26), said watching the recent court case was like seeing her mother being abused all over again.

"I would love to shout and scream and call him a rapist and tell him that he killed the child inside my mother," she said.

She said it was sad to look at her mother, as she is "just blank in the face" where there used to be a smile.

"She's having some quiet time at the moment, some family time, but she will come back," she said. "I know she will."

Ms O'Brien said she and her mother would love to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny to seek justice.

Mr Kenny's officials are expected to make contact with Ms Doyle who wants a meeting to discuss sentencing for rape and sex crimes.

Mr Kenny offered to meet Ms Doyle after paying tribute to her courage.

"I would be quite willing to meet Ms Doyle and to hear her view, as a victim of unspeakable horror, as to her perspective as to how a victim would see the court system working," he said.

The meeting is expected to be set up by Mr Kenny's officials.

Irish Independent

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