Friday 23 February 2018

Notorious criminal raped girl (9)

'Repulsive' sex attacks took place during hide-and-seek game at beach

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A NOTORIOUS criminal was found guilty yesterday of raping a nine-year-old girl behind a rock during a game of "hide and seek" at the beach.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said the sex offences by Stephen 'Rossi' Walsh (62) were the "most repulsive" he had ever encountered at the Central Criminal Court.

Walsh, of Belgrave Road, Rathgar, Dublin, was remanded in custody pending his sentencing on Friday for his attacks on the girl in the early 1990s.

Mr Justice Carney said that the "guess the fruit and veg" game, in which Walsh tricked his blindfolded victim to perform oral sex, was one of the most repulsive offences he had ever encountered in his 18-year tenure as judge and that he could see no mitigating factors in the defence case.

The now 25-year-old victim said in a statement read out in court that she had been attending counselling since 2004 for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and feelings of shame and self-loathing.

She said aside from "severe physical pain and soreness", she'd felt confused and fearful after the rapes.

She was also scared for her sister the day Walsh took the two girls in his car to a beach area and raped his victim behind a rock during a game of "hide and seek".


She recalled feeling "sick" and biting down hard when Walsh put his penis in her mouth after telling her the item began with "c" during a blindfolded game he called "guess the fruit and veg".

She described her relief when she learned her attacker had been jailed for arson in a television news report in 1993, but said she "felt sick" when she heard of his release years later.

"What happened to me has not gone away, it will never go away. I am a victim of real child abuse," she stated.

The jury took seven hours on day four of the trial to find Walsh guilty of the offences between January 1 and November 9, 1993.

Pleas of not guilty had been entered on Walsh's behalf after he refused to indicate which way he was pleading to the two counts of rape and one count of oral rape.

He has 10 previous convictions, including a 15-year arson sentence at the Special Criminal Court in 1993.

The court heard that, on one occasion, the attacker brought his young victim alone to a beach area one day after pretending to her parents he was taking her to play with his children.

Walsh raped the little girl by grabbing her from behind, removing her trousers and underwear during a game of "hide and seek". He covered her mouth when she screamed in pain.

He threatened that he would "get" her parents if she told anyone about the attack as he dropped her back home.

Irish Independent

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