Thursday 14 November 2019

Sentence activated for rape-threat gang leader

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Ruaidhri Giblin

The ringleader behind a "spine-chilling" attack in which a student was "frog marched" to an ATM machine and told to withdraw money or his girlfriend would be raped by two accomplices has had part of a suspended sentence activated by the Court of Appeal.

The 22-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, robbery and false imprisonment at Botanic Avenue, Dublin 9, on April 27, 2011.

He was sentenced to six years detention by Judge Martin Nolan on March 29, 2012. The Court of Appeal heard that the victims were a young woman and her civil-engineering-student boyfriend, who had broken up as a result of the incident.

She moved back to live with her parents, while he cut short his college career. Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Anne Rowland SC, had said the young offender was "the ringleader" from the time he entered the house with his accomplices.

He held a knife to the student's throat and commented that he would "give him a quick" cut while moving it across his face.

After he had gotten €40 from the victims, he told them "you better get more than that or I'll slice you" and referring to the student's girlfriend, he said "I'll hurt her if you don't give me the PIN number" to an ATM card.

The boyfriend was then "frog marched" from his girlfriend's home to a nearby ATM machine while his girlfriend was held back at the house by two accomplices. The victim was told that if he didn't comply his girlfriend would be raped, Ms Rowland said.

The Court of Appeal suspended the final 12 months of his six-year sentence in July 2015 following an appeal.

However, the Court of Appeal activated all but six weeks of his 12-month suspended sentence yesterday on foot of an application by the Probation Service.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said the chance that was given to the young man - the suspension of the final 12 months of his sentence - "wasn't taken".

Irish Independent

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