News Courts

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Daughter of rapist tried to petrol bomb victim's home

Sara Condra
Sara Condra

Elaine Keogh

A rapist convinced his daughter that he had been wrongly convicted and she then went with a petrol bomb to the home of the victim, a court heard.

Sara Condra apologised yesterday for what she had done and said she had been convinced her father had been innocent.

In 2006, her father Francis Condra (52), of Upper Magdalene Street, Drogheda, was found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of raping and falsely imprisoning a woman and he was jailed for 16 years.

Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court yesterday heard that Ms Condra and her family had believed her father was not guilty. Sara (21), of Oulster Lane, Drogheda, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to having a milk carton with petrol in it and a glass bottle containing petrol and sugar and a rag.

The court heard petrol was poured over the door of the house and she had a box of matches and made an attempt to light it. However, it did not light.

The offence happened on the April 18, 2011. Yesterday in court she apologised for her behaviour and said: "I am deeply sorry and regret my actions and the hurt I caused and the pain."

She said: "I was fully 100pc convinced that he was innocent."

But she now fully accepts the verdict of the Central Criminal Court was right.

It was, barrister Lily Buckley said, manipulation by Francis Condra and his daughter Sara had acted on foot of it.

The court heard Sara was 13 at the time her father committed the rape. Her mother, Deirdre Clinton, told the court that what happened, "had a very very bad impact on Sara at the time".

"She would not go to school, she would not leave the house."

She also said: "He had us fully convinced he had nothing to do with the crime."

Sara was diagnosed as having ADHD at 13 years of age and the court heard she had other psychological difficulties. On the day of her offending she had taken valium and cannabis.

Ms Buckley said that Francis Condra wrote to his daughter and in the letter he said he had lied to her by saying he was wrongly convicted. She is now married, pregnant, has converted to Islam and the court was asked to consider a suspended sentence.

Judge Michael O'Shea said he accepted the accused had believed what her father told her.

He said the effect of what Sara Condra did would have been "terrifying and shocking" to the woman in question.

He imposed a four-year sentence and suspended it on her entering into a good behaviour bond for four years.

Irish Independent

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