Thursday 29 September 2016

Sex offender (77) will not face child rape trial 'as he is suffering from dementia' - court

Conor Gallagher

Published 23/11/2015 | 17:00

Stock picture
Stock picture

A 77 year old sex offender will not face trial on new charges of raping a young child as he is suffering from dementia.

  • Go To

The Dublin man appeared before the Central Criminal Court for a fitness to plead hearing. He was facing trial on nine counts of sex assaulting and anally raping the girl between 1989 and 1991.

The complainant, who was related to him, alleged the man earned her trust before going on to rape her two or three times a week.

The court heard he has previously served a four year sentence for sexually assaulting a niece.

Today Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan heard from psychiatrists for the prosecution and defence who both agreed that the accused was not fit to enter a plea, instruct counsel or follow the evidence.

Dr Ronan Mullaney of the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) told prosecuting counsel Bernard Condon SC that the man showed a “severe decline in the overall level of cognitive function” which was connected to a type of dementia called vascular impairment syndrome.

The court heard the man gets lost when walking alone and requires repeated reassurance when doing household tasks. Dr Mullaney said he was often unable to follow conversation.

The accused told the doctor he was going to plead not guilty to the charges but that it wouldn't bother him if he was convicted and jailed.

The doctor said he scored 22 out of 30 on a cognitive test where a score of less than 27 indicates subnormal mental functioning.

Dr Paul O'Connell, also of the CMH, told defence counsel Padraig Dwyer SC that he concurred with the prosecution expert and said the man showed evidence of Parkinson's disease.

He said the dementia was a serious and non-reversible disorder and that it was highly unlikely there would be any improvement.

Ms Justice Heneghan ruled that the man was unfit to be tried and that any order remanding him to the CMH would be unlikely to improve his functioning.

She told the victim, who was in court, that the State was not dropping the case but that it could not proceed because of the man's condition.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News