An ex-Republican Paramilitary, who left the jurisdiction after he was “detected” for the rape and sexual abuse two young girls in the Republic of Ireland, has had his prison sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal.
The 57-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the victims' identities, pleaded guilty in 2012 at the Central Criminal Court to 16 counts of rape and indecent assault committed against two girls between November 2008 and May 2009.
He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with the final three suspended by Mr Justice Paul Carney on February 13 2012.
Moving an appeal against sentence today, his barrister, Brian McCartney SC, said his client met a woman in Donegal in 2008. He moved in with her and began an abusive relationship with her nine-year-old daughter.
Mr McCartney said the offending, which occured over nine months in four locations, involved placing his penis in her mouth, simulated masturbation, simulated intercourse and the viewing of pornographic material.
There was also an incident of touching involving the girl's 12-year-old sister, Mr McCartney said.
The man developed suicidal ideations after he was “detected”, counsel said. He moved to Europe and was returned on foot of an extradition warrant.
Mr McCartney said the man had come from a traumatised background. He had been sentenced decades earlier to 15 years imprisonment for membership of an illegal organisation and for possession of a firearm and explosives, counsel said.
Mr McCartney told the three-judge court that before he was charged with the offences, the man was attacked with a golf club by the children's father. The shaft of the golf club broke, such was the force of the attack, and the broken shaft was then rammed into his rib cage.
He offered no resistance to the attack, Mr McCartney said, but simply fell to the ground “as an act of contrition”.
Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, agreed with with Mr McCartney that 15 years imprisonment was too high a starting point for the man's sentence before mitigation could be applied.
As a result, The Court of Appeal sentenced the man to 13 years imprisonment with the final three suspended. No error was found in the suspension of three years having regard to mitigating factors - his guilty plea and acceptance of responsibility.
He was required to enter into his own bond of €1,000 to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the suspended period of his sentence. He was also required to undergo 18 months post release supervision and to have no contact with the victims in perpetuity.
When asked if he undertook to be so bound, the man nodded his head and said “I do”.