Thursday 22 March 2018

Victim's fears prompt calls to review management of rapists after jail release

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE Government will review the post-release management of high-risk sex offenders following a plea from Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI).

It came after one rape victim admitted she was terrified at the prospect of serial rapist Patrick 'Lolo' O'Driscoll (45) being released from custody over the next few months after qualifying for early release.

O'Driscoll fractured the woman's skull and threatened to kill her child during a brutal one-hour rape on September 3, 2000.

That rape occurred just months after he was released, having served nine years of a 12-year prison sentence for a previous rape committed in 1991. Gardai warned after his 2003 sentencing hearing that he was considered one of the most dangerous sex offenders in the country.

Despite O'Driscoll committing a second rape just months after getting early release, he is set to qualify for early release a second time after being a model inmate over the past decade.

"It is like being trapped in a nightmare except this nightmare is my life," the victim told the Irish Independent.

"I went through two trials in this case and I was in bits when it was all over. Now, I'm facing into the same fear all over again. What will happen? Will I be safe? Do I need greater security on my home?" she asked.

The woman has backed calls for an overhaul of post-release management systems for convicted sex offenders.

RCNI has made a detailed submission to Justice Minister Alan Shatter on the matter. Government sources said Mr Shatter was now going to request a review of the issues raised.

RCNI said the case highlighted the urgent need to modernise Ireland's post-release management of sex offenders.

RCNI official Fiona Neary said: "RCNI views the management of sex offenders as an issue of the first importance to victims and their families not least because the reality is that most people imprisoned for sexual offences do return to the community, either when their sentences end, or when they are granted temporary release."

Irish Independent

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