Thursday 22 February 2018

Freed sex attacker's family ask to be left alone

Majella O'Sullivan and Ralph Riegel

THE family of a former bouncer who was released from jail after serving less than four years of a sentence for sexual assault have pleaded to be left alone.

Danny Foley (39), of Listowel, Co Kerry, was scheduled to be released from Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin yesterday.

Foley's mother Margaret Nora Foley said the case has had a devastating impact on her family.

"My husband died with cancer over it and I had cancer 11 years ago and that has come back," she said.

Mrs Foley blamed her husband's death in 2011 on the publicity surrounding the court case.

Now, she said the family simply wanted to be left in peace.

Danny Foley hit the headlines when, after being convicted of the sexual assault on a unconscious woman in a Listowel car park on June 15, 2008, 50 people queued in court to sympathise with him as he awaited sentencing.

When gardai found the woman that morning, she was naked from the waist down and had extensive bruising and scratching.

The court sympathisers, who included a priest, queued to shake hands with Foley directly in front of the 22-year old victim.

Foley had maintained through the prosecution that the sex was consensual.

The victim later spoke of her outrage at the incident and said she was made to feel like the guilty person.

REMISSION

The woman, who still lives in Listowel, declined to comment on Foley's release.

Foley served a total of three years and eight months of his sentence, having qualified for 25pc remission of his sentence for good behaviour. He had been sentenced to seven years, with two years suspended.

One of Foley's supporters included local priest Fr Sean Sheehy who also offered character evidence for him in court.

Fr Sheehy was later censured by the Bishop of Kerry, Dr Bill Murphy.

Irish Independent

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