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Sick rapist caged for attacks on two girls challenges jail term

THE sick rapist caged for life after repeatedly attacking two little girls has mounted a legal challenge to his sentence.

The 30-year-old father-of-two has appealed the two life terms imposed on him by Mr Justice Paul Carney just three weeks ago for the horrific rapes in Athlone last year.

His solicitor Gearoid Geraghty confirmed yesterday that he had received instructions and an appeal was lodged with the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The shocking case had effectively been fast-tracked through the courts after the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, acknowledged at the earliest stage that he would plead guilty and waived his right to the book of evidence. He admitted all five charges – three counts of raping a nine-year-old and two counts of raping a six-year-old girl at an address in Athlone on September 28, 2013.

At his sentencing hearing on March 3, the Central Criminal Court heard that the little girls had been attending a birthday party when the man lured them to a flat pretending he had a six-year-old daughter who was too shy to come out to play.

Once inside he violently raped the children, threatened to cut their throats and told them he would cut their parents' throats if they did not do as he said.

Following the attack, he ordered them to stay in the room, but they managed to escape through a window.

The girls' parents raised the alarm after they had been noticed missing. They were found just as a 999 call was being made. Gardai were called after the girls told their parents what "a bad man" had done.

After his arrest near the scene, the man told gardai he had been off his head on drink and had been taking valium. But he acknowledged this could not be used as an excuse.

Defence senior counsel Martin Giblin told the sentencing hearing that his client had indicated at a very early stage that he wanted to cooperate with the investigation.

Mr Giblin said the offences were very serious and he did not want anything he said to be understood as diminishing the seriousness of the offences or the impact on the girls.

But he told Mr Justice Carney an indeterminate sentence was not called for in this case.

OFFENCES

The man came from a very difficult family background and he said the extent of his cooperation with the prosecution had to be taken into account.

Counsel for the DPP said these offences were at the upper end of the scale due to the nature of the behaviour, the age of the victims, the premeditation and multiplicity of assaults.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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