Wednesday 22 November 2017

Man loses appeal against conviction for sex abuse of three girls

Aodhan O'Faolain

THE Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) has dismissed a Donegal man's appeal against his conviction for sexually abusing three young girls in his daughter's bed while they were on sleepovers at his house.

Martin McCurdy, 45, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy after being convicted of the abuse by a Central Criminal Court jury in October 2010.



McCurdy's name was added to the Sexual Offenders Register. McCurdy of Emmet Park, Castlefinn, had pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexually assaulting the then 13-year-old girls on separate dates between February 2006 and January 2007 in his home.



The court was told the girls were all abused in a similar fashion and involved McCurdy making them perform a sexual act.



Following his conviction the girls waived their right to anonymity so McCurdy, who was not present in court yesterday, could be publicly named.



He appealed his conviction on grounds including that the type of warning given Mr Justice McCarthy to the jury in relation to corroboration of the evidence given by the complainants rendered his conviction unsafe. The DPP opposed the appeal and argued the conviction should not be disturbed.



Today the three-judge CCA dismissed all grounds of McCurdy's appeal.



The CAA said it was satisfied the trial judge did not err in his charge to the jury in relation to corroboration. Mr Justice McCarthy, the CCA said, had held the evidence of the complainants was capable of being corroborative of the other. However, the judge had left it up to the jury to say whether it was or not.



McCurdy's appeal against sentence will be considered by the CCA on a future date

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