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Give my dad full 12 years in prison - rape victim Fiona

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Fiona Doyle outside court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

Fiona Doyle outside court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

Rapist Patrick O'Brien

Rapist Patrick O'Brien

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Fiona Doyle outside court yesterday. Photo: Courtpix

FIONA Doyle has called for her father to receive a full 12-year prison sentence with no years suspended, after a court found his original sentence for rape was too lenient.

Ms Doyle suffered years of torture at the hands of her father Patrick O'Brien (75), who pleaded guilty to 16 charges of rape and indecent assault at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road, Dun Laoighaire, from 1973 to 1982.

Trial judge Justice Paul Carney had described it as one of the worst cases of abuse one could possibly find.

But taking into account O'Brien's health problems, he sentenced him to 12 years in prison, suspended the final nine and granted him continuing bail pending an appeal.

Yesterday the prison sentence was found to be "unduly lenient" by the Court of Appeal.

It will give reasons for its decision on January 19 next and will impose a new sentence on O'Brien on January 26.

Speaking last night, Ms Doyle told the Herald that she wanted the full sentence implemented.

"I would want the full sentence, 12 years, upheld, with none suspended.

"There is no sentence that would be good enough, but I think that it is a fair sentence," she said.

Calling for mandatory sentencing for sex crimes, Ms Doyle said that the original sentence made her feel "worthless" and that such leniency would dissuade victims from coming forward.

Fight

"It gave me a sense of worthlessness, that there was no value placed on my life.

"I thought that it would be a deterrent for people who are victims to come forward, that they think there's no point," she said.

She said that while the last two years have been tough, she is glad for her family for what they have done.

"I would say it's always worth it to stand up for yourself and to fight back," she said.

President of the Court of Appeal Justice Sean Ryan said yesterday the court was satisfied that the sentence imposed on O'Brien was unduly lenient.

The three-judge panel acceded to the DPP's application to review his sentence.

Counsel for the DPP Brendan Grehan said the director had brought her appeal on grounds that O'Brien's age was not sufficient alone to mitigate his sentence.

He said there was insufficient evidence to say O'Brien's medical conditions would make prison life intolerable, for example, there was no evidence that he had a terminal illness.

hnews@herald.ie


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