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Garda review will ask why sicko Berkley was free to rape teenager

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Berkley was jailed for 14 years for raping Spanish student

Berkley was jailed for 14 years for raping Spanish student

Berkley was jailed for 14 years for raping Spanish student

GardaiI are to review the hand-ling of vile rapist Eoin Berkley's multiple bail breaches amid warnings that he should never have been free to walk the streets of Dublin.

Berkley (25) was jailed on Thursday for 14 years for repeatedly raping a young Spanish student in July last year.

The appalling attacks took place on the Irish Glass Bottle Company site on Pigeon House Road, Dublin.

The review will be carried out amid increasing demands for an overhaul of bail, sentencing and mental health regulations in light of the revelations in the Berkley case.

Sectioned

The demands came as it emerged that the twisted rapist should have been in custody for five public order bail breaches when he attacked the student.

It also emerged that he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act only one month before at the instigation of a senior garda who was worried his behaviour.

However, a doctor later deemed Berkley fit for release.

A garda spokesperson stressed that the aim of the review will be "to establish the lessons to be learnt and whether changes to procedures and processes are required."

A central element of the review will be communication between garda divisions and courts in respect of bail terms, as well as between garda divisions themselves.

The Herald understands that the circumstances in which Berkley was released on medical advice will also be examined.

This, however, is outside the remit of the garda review.

Garda chiefs said any breach of duty in respect of monitoring and enforcing court-imposed bail conditions would potentially be an internal disciplinary matter.

The Sexual Violence Centre Cork (SVCC) said the number of rapes and sexual assaults in Ireland warranted the introduction of mandatory sentencing.

"For multiple reasons, Berkley should never have been out walking the streets," said SVCC director Mary Crilly.

She said the 14-year jail sentence imposed on him was significant, but believed there should be a mandatory five-year prison term for rape.

She said that in most cases of sexual violence there is no conviction.

"With mandatory sentences, judges could then be free to add years for aggravating factors like violence and lack of remorse," said Ms Crilly.

"The issue here is that this young man clearly stands out, but most rapists and those who commit sexual assaults look normal, fit in to society and appear no different to anyone else."

Over recent times, Berkley - who had been sleeping rough - walked around the city centre carrying a fake Kalashnikov assault rifle. On another occasion, he gave a Nazi salute

Multiple breaches of his bail terms were effectively ignored.

When sentenced for the rape of the student, Berkley began laughing.

Rape crisis groups have said the judiciary should note the exceptional 14-year prison term imposed by Mr Justice Michael White.

Tolerated

Rape Crisis Network Ireland official Cliona Saidlear said it was a strong signal that sexual violence will not be tolerated.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre director Noeline Blackwell said the most worrying aspect of the case was that Berkley's repeated bail breaches were known about but not acted upon.

"Nothing was done about it," she said. "That is the real worry in all of this."

Ms Blackwell said it was clear that questions should be asked over why specific bail orders were not enforced when it was apparent they were being flagrantly breached.

Labour and Fianna Fail said serious issues arise over both bail and mental health sectioning enforcement from the case.

Berkley went into foster care when he was only four and was institutionalised after a spate of unruly behaviour by the age of 14.

He had also spent time living homeless around Dublin.


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