Saturday 17 August 2019

Convicted abuser applies to have his name removed from sex offenders' register

Scales (stock)
Scales (stock)

Declan Brennan

A man who was convicted fifteen years ago of abusing his daughter in the 1970s has applied to have his name removed from the sex offender's register.

The 61-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named, was found guilty after a trial in March 2000 of indecently assaulting his daughter over the course of five years from when she was aged just seven.

He was also convicted of sexually assaulting her when she was 23 years old and had fallen asleep in his house after they had been drinking together. He was jailed for a total of two years in 2000 for all offences.

Today at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Judge Martin Nolan said the purpose of the sex offender's register was to monitor people who may be a danger to society and so the practical consideration for the court must be the risk of a person reoffending.

The man told the court that the monitoring under the Sex Offenders Act was being used as “a cloak for an injustice” because he had a case “against the guards”. He said he was not a danger to the public and that he wanted to be removed of the obligations and monitoring that came from being on the register.

The law allows for a court to remove an offender from the register if the court is satisfied that the interest of the common good is no longer served by having the person on the register. Judge Nolan said it was not in the interest of the common good to impose restrictions on the public where a person did not pose a current risk to society.

He previously ordered that the Probation Services carry out a risk assessment of the man. James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, said that the man was identified as being in a category of men who were at low risk of re-conviction and added that this assessment was based on his age and profile.

Judge Nolan said he wanted time to read the risk assessment report fully. He said he would base his decision on the man's future risk to children and adjourned the case to next week.

A garda testified that he was involved with the monitoring of this man and other sex offenders. He said he called unannounced to the man's home regularly to ensure compliance with the restrictions under the Sex Offenders Act. He said there were four visits so far in 2015 and six in 2014

He said the man was not under any undue attention and that he was the only person to have “any sort of knowledge” of the man's situation.

He said: “The common good is being served. The offences were serious offences which took place over a period of time. I ensure there are no child protection issues. We clear this with the HSE.”

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