Arsonist convicted of raping nine-year-old

A convicted arsonist has been found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of raping a nine-year-old girl twice on a beach and orally raping her in a Dublin house 16 years ago.

Stephen (Rossi) Walsh (aged 62) of Belgrave Road, Rathgar, previously of the Rinsgend/Pearse Street area of Dublin had been convicted in the Special Criminal Court of arson in the early 1990s.

The victim confirmed that she consented to him being named in media reports.

Mr Justice Paul Carney remanded Walsh in custody and adjourned sentencing to next February. He thanked the jurors for their service and excused them from jury duty for life.

This was the last criminal trial to be heard in the Four Courts complex and all new Dublin cases will be dealt with in the new Criminal Courts of Justice buidling in January .

Pleas of not guilty had been entered by the court on behalf of Walsh, to two counts of rape, one count of oral rape and one count of sexual assault on dates between January 1, and November 9, 1993, after he refused to indicate whether he was pleading guilty or not guilty to the offences.

The jury took almost seven hours to reach the verdict on day four of the trial. It acquitted Walsh on one count of sexual assault.

Mr Justice Carney declared Walsh a sex offender and ordered a victim impact report for the sentence hearing.

Inspector Colm O’Malley was called to give evidence of Walsh’s character and previous convictions because Mr Justice Carney said he wanted the jury to know “who they had been dealing with and what had been kept from them”.

Insp O’Malley confirmed that Walsh had 13 previous convictions including a lengthy prison sentence in relation to an arson case, which Mr Justice Carney confirmed had been dealt with in the Special Criminal Court. He did not have an official record of convictions in court and the judge confirmed that Walsh’s full record would be outlined in detail at the sentence hearing.

Walsh also had a number of convictions for minor road traffic offences that had been dealt with in the District Court.

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