independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

X-case rapist guilty of sexually assaulting girl (15)

THE man convicted of raping a young girl in the infamous X-case nine years ago was yesterday found guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting another teenager.

The 52-year-old taxi driver assaulted the young girl while she was a passenger in his cab in the centre of Dublin.

He collapsed in the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday after the jury found him guilty on two charges of sexually assaulting and falsely imprisoning his victim on August 15, 1999.

The married man was released from jail in 1997 after serving three years of a four-year sentence for raping the 14-year-old girl in the X-case in 1992.

The girl subsequently became pregnant, but was restrained by an injunction from leaving the country for an abortion. The Supreme Court later lifted the injunction, but the girl had a miscarriage.

Shortly after his release from prison the man made an application in September 1997 to a south Dublin garda station for a PSV licence.

There was no reference on the application form to previous convictions, and the man subsequently passed an examination and was given his taxi licence.

Gardai later admitted that the man had "slipped through the net", and as he had changed address since his conviction for rape they did not match up the applicant with the crime.

The licence was revoked after the taxi passenger, who is now 18 years old, made her allegations to the gardai at a city centre station.

Judge Patrick McCartan yesterday remanded the taxi driver in custody for sentence on Tuesday.

The court heard the teenager had hailed the taxi at Donnycarney Church to bring her to the Ambassador Cinema at Parnell Square, where she was to meet friends.

She told prosecuting counsel Anthony Hunt, BL, she got into the front passenger seat and he remarked that she was "a lovely looking girl". He then introduced himself to her.

A few minutes later he lowered his hand to touch her genital area over her trousers and she pushed his hand away.

He invited her to go for a drive with him, and told her to call her friends and tell them she would be late meeting them.

The woman said that when they arrived at her destination he did not stop, but instead drove on to a nearby laneway which was a small cul-de-sac beside a parking area.

She asked him what he was doing and why he had stopped.

He told her: "It will only take a while."

She said she told him she did not want to be there and he replied: "I will make it worth your while. I will give you £20."

She refused but he reached over and put his hand on her left breast, underneath the jumper and the black vest she was wearing.

He also asked her to give him "a quick feel".

She said she was terrified at this stage and he then acceded to her demand that she be brought back to her friends.

When they got there, she asked him how much she owed him and he told her: "You can make up for it later."

She said as he drove away she was trying to look at the licence plate, but could only see two digits because her friend had come over to hug her.

She told the court she had earlier seen the man's brass identity badge number pinned on his red polo pullover, and had memorised the number.

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