Monday 19 February 2018

Court punishments that caused controversy

* In march, Judge Carroll Moran suspended a three-year sentence for five years on a man (40) who admitted sexually assaulting his partner's daughter who had not yet turned 12 when the abuse started. Judge Moran said it "wasn't right" the man's identify remained anonymous but allowed it because naming him might identify his victim.

* Judge Martin Nolan, who controversially jailed a businessman for six years for a garlic import scam, was criticised for allowing a man who sexually assaulted two of his nieces to walk free. Aidan Farrington (45), Glasnevin, Dublin 9, was given a three-year suspended sentence in October 2012. He had abused his victims on three separate occasions. Judge Nolan said the publication of Farrington's name would be punishment in itself and that while the abuse was very serious, "the seriousness of the assaults themselves do not mandate a custodial sentence".

* Judge Michael O'Shea handed down a two-and-a-half-year sentence, suspended for three years, to a man who sexually assaulted a woman while she was sleeping. Jason Cole (30), Balrothery, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to the offence at Wicklow Circuit Court in January 2013. His victim, who had gone to bed alone after attending a hen night, woke up to somebody performing oral sex on her. He said he had consumed 21 drinks that night and acted out of character.

* Restaurateur John Murphy (58) of Murphy's Restaurant, Castletownbere, Co Cork, got an 18-month suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a woman dining at his premises. Judge Sean O Donnabhain had remanded him in custody for two weeks following his trial in 2012. Murphy, who had denied the charges, paid €10,000 to his victim following his conviction.

Irish Independent

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