Sunday 18 August 2019

Child rapist appeals his life sentence

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Ruaidhri Giblin

A man who lured two girls away from a children's birthday party and told them he would cut their parents' throats before repeatedly raping them has moved to appeal his life sentence.

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the nine and six-year-old girls in a flat in Athlone on September 28, 2013.

He was given two life sentences by Mr Justice Paul Carney on March 3, 2014.

The man moved to appeal his sentence yesterday on grounds that it was excessive in all the circumstances.

His barrister, Sean Gillane SC, acknowledged at the outset that there were certain "nightmarish aspects" about this case involving violations of an unspeakable kind of the personal and bodily integrity of two children.

Mr Gillane said certain aspects of the man's assistance should have merited a different approach by the trial judge.

On foot of advice he received from his solicitor, he made full admissions and indicated how the case would be approached before he left the Garda station, Mr Gillane said.

His solicitor then indicated, in that early remand period, that there would be a willingness and desire not to receive a book of evidence and to be sent forward on a signed plea of guilty.


Mr Justice Birmingham remarked that the man's solicitor Gearoid Geraghty did a splendid job. "The fact there's room for debate is entirely due to the quality of the legal advice he gave," he said.

With great difficulty, Mr Gillane said there was a moral dimension to attach to the approach he took. "It occurs in the darkest of cases and this was certainly a dark case," he told the court.

Mr Gillane said his client's plea and acknowledgment of wrongdoing at the very least pointed towards positive rehabilitative steps being taken.

Mr Gillane referred to two cases known as 'D' and 'McC' which got "joint treatment" by the Supreme Court in 2007.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the court would reserve judgment, adding he appreciated this was a very distressing matter for the families of the victims.

However, the issues involved required the court to take time to deliberate, he said.

Irish Independent

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