Sunday 22 April 2018

Notorious criminal seeks leave to appeal conviction for raping girl (9)

Declan Brennan

A WELL KNOWN Dublin criminal has sought leave to appeal his conviction for the rape of a nine-year-old girl in the early 1990s.

Mr Justice Paul Carney jailed Stephen “Rossi” Walsh (65) for ten years in February 2010 for what he described as one of the “most repulsive” sex offences ever encountered at the Central Criminal Court.

Walsh of Belgrave Road, Rathgar had tricked his victim into taking his penis in her mouth by playing a “guess the fruit and veg” game with her.

Today Walsh was seeking to have leave to appeal either granted or refused by Mr Justice Carney in order for him to progress his case further to the Court of Criminal Appeal

Mr Justice Carney said that since his lawyers have previously applied for leave to appeal Walsh had written to the registrar of the Central Criminal Court to say he had not authorised this application.

This leave to appeal application had been refused by Mr Justice Carney. On a subsequent hearing the judge acted on Walsh’s complaint and set aside the order to refuse him leave to appeal.

It was made clear to Walsh then that, as a result of this act, Walsh would have neither a certificate of leave to appeal or a refusal which he could challenge in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Walsh was described as “a professional litigant”. The court noted that Walsh has sacked and rehired his legal team a number of times and that he now has a fresh legal team.

In his most recent application defence counsel John Peart SC asked the judge to go back on his earlier action and to allow counsel to seek leave to appeal.

The judge agreed to hear a new application for leave to appeal. He then refused leave to appeal. This refusal allows Walsh to proceed to the Court of Criminal Appeal and challenge this refusal.

At the time of sentencing in 2010, Mr Justice Carney described Walsh’s oral rape as one of the most repulsive sex offences he has ever encountered in his 18 year tenure as a judge and that he could see no mitigating factors in the defence case.

He said he found it "particularly revolting" that Walsh had planned the "sex game" by purchasing the fruit and vegetables in a shop beforehand.

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 between January 1 and November 9, 1993.

He has ten previous convictions including a 15-year arson sentence at the Special Criminal Court from 1993.

Mr Justice Carney had noted the "inherent gravity" of the attacks, the young age of the victim and Walsh's threats to the victim's parents.

He imposed seven years post release supervision and warned Walsh he could be jailed again if he fails to abide by its terms.

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