Sunday 18 March 2018

Convicted rapist is sentenced for failing to notify gardai of his new address

Conor Gallagher

A CONVICTED rapist has been sentenced to two years with 18 months suspended for failing to notify the gardai of his address after his release from prison.

Robert Melia (46) of Abbotstown Drive, Finglas was jailed for nine years in 1999 for falsely imprisoning four women and sexually assaulting three of them. He also has a previous conviction in the UK from 1991 for rape.

Melia pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of failing to notify gardai of a change of address in 2010.

Prosecuting counsel Anne Marie Lawlor BL presented evidence that when he was released from prison in 2007 he was told he was still subject to the Sex Offenders Act and was required to inform gardai if he changed address.

He later gave gardai an East Wall address. In 2010 gardai became aware he was living in Finglas but attempts to contact him failed. On two occasions when he was stopped by gardai in the street he gave false names.

Gardai found he had given false addresses on three occasions. When he was caught Melia claimed he didn’t know he had to tell gardai if he moved house.

He has 22 previous convictions including robbery, burglary and criminal damage.

Defence counsel Edward Farrelly BL said his client has cooperated fully with gardai since these incidents. He said he had a difficult childhood and has spent much of his life in jail.

Judge Martin Nolan said the Sex Offenders Act was there for the protection of the community and that he had no doubt Melia knew of his obligations. He imposed a two year sentence but suspended 18 months for two years.

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