Monday 15 July 2019

Convicted sex offenders 'should be banned from certain apps for life'

Convicted: Patrick Nevin had boasted to gardaí that he has ‘thousands of matches’ on Tinder and had met up with ‘hundreds of women’
Convicted: Patrick Nevin had boasted to gardaí that he has ‘thousands of matches’ on Tinder and had met up with ‘hundreds of women’
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Convicted sex offenders should be banned from certain apps for life, a senator has claimed.

Dublin senator Catherine Noone has called for the ban following the sentencing of serial sex offender 'Tinder rapist' Patrick Nevin.

The 37-year-old was jailed today for 12 years for carrying out “predatory, premeditated” sex attacks on women he met on the dating app.

Senator Noone reacted to the sentencing saying the courts should now move to ban convicted sex offenders from apps that will put them in contact with unsuspecting members of the public. This would include dating apps, as well as service apps for food deliveries and taxis.

"Under my previous proposals to amend the Sex Offenders Bill, judges would be able to ban convicted sex offenders from using online dating apps," the senator said.

"It is common sense to restrict these predators from access to dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble or Grindr and service apps such as those for taxis or food delivery, if convicted of a sexual assault."

Senator Noone, who is running as a Fine Gael candidate for Dublin Bay North in the next General Election, said the apps "provide direct access for predators" and "allow vulnerable people to be abused."

"We need to deal with this issue, given the gravity of these crimes," she said.

"Under the Sex Offenders Act, 2001, a judge has the power to prohibit a person who is subject to a sex offender order from doing anything in order to protect the public from serious harm.

"We have seen cases where these apps have been used to facilitate heinous crimes. This cannot be allowed to be repeated in the future."

She continued; "People should always take precautions on dating apps but they should also expect some level of security vetting when using these apps.

"I think at a minimum, sex offenders need to be banned from using the internet or dating apps to make direct contact with anyone for life.

"We cannot eradicate these types of crimes, but we can limit their likelihood through forward thinking legislation that responds to the needs of modern society and protects the public."

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