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Evil attacker set to appeal life sentence for girls' rape

THE sick rapist that attacked two young girls is set to appeal the life sentence handed down due to its "severity".

The 30-year-old, currently caged in Midlands Prison, is likely to appeal the sentence he received for the horrific repeated rape of the two girls, aged six and nine, in Athlone last September.

The man's solicitor Gearoid Geraghty, this morning told the Herald that his client's appeal could be heard as early as 2016, saying that it would be "against severity only, it's not against conviction".

According to Mr Geraghty: "It's a standard thing for a person given a life sentence to appeal it."

Sentencing the man to five life sentences – to run concurrently – Mr Justice Paul Carney said he found it too upsetting to recite the facts of the case.

SERIOUS

He also said that the man's crimes were too serious for any discount in sentence, despite his early guilty plea, which meant that the victims and their families weren't subjected to a lengthy trial process.

The court heard how both victims have been left traumatised by the rapes that occurred in a flat in Athlone after they were lured there by the man under the pretence that he had a six-year-old sister who was "too shy" and wanted to play with them.

He threatened to cut their throats and those of their parents' during the terrifying ordeal.

The man has more than 100 previous convictions and was only released from garda custody hours before the girls' ordeal.

He had been arrested the previous night on suspicion of a public order offence.

His ex-girlfriend has spoken of how "prison is too good for him" and her belief that the death penalty should be reinstated for such sickening crimes.

She said she "never thought he was capable of anything like that" and said that the authorities "should throw away the key".

His solicitor Mr Geraghty said his client is likely to appeal his sentence saying: "Anyone would in terms of a life sentence. It would be normal."

He said that he hadn't received instructions from the man yet but that when he does, the appeal would "take a place on the list of the Court of Criminal Appeal and in due course and it'll probably be two years down the road."

He said: "The grounds of the appeal would be that the sentence was disproportionate to the crime probably and in light of the fact that the defendant went forward with a signed plea of guilty at an early stage.

DISCOUNT

"Judge Carney said that in those circumstances a defendant is usually entitled to a significant discount (in sentence).

"He felt the facts were too heinous to allow him to do so."

However, Mr Geraghty said that the early guilty plea "is mitigating".

The man was last night moved from Mountjoy Prison to Midlands Prison in Portlaoise where he is likely to be segregated for his own safety.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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