Indecent assault sentence reduced

An 80-year-old man jailed for indecently assaulting a 10-year-old boy, often multiple times a day, until he was 15, has had the final 12 months of his four-year prison sentence suspended following a successful appeal.

Patrick Bassett, of The Farmhouse, Sarsfield Court, Glanmire, Co Cork, had pleaded guilty to 22 counts of indecently assaulting the boy and one count of indecently assaulting his brother in Co Cork in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on May 28, 2014.

The Court of Appeal found yesterday that the final 12 months of Bassett’s sentence should have been suspended in light of his signed plea of guilty in the district court, at the earliest possible stage of proceedings.

Speaking on behalf of the three-judge court, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the abuse started when one of the brothers was 10 and continued until he was 14 or 15.

Mr Justice Birmingham said a signed plea of guilty was valuable in cases of a sexual nature. It indicates at an early stage that there will not be a contested trial or cross-examination of victims and it aids the administration of justice.

“For that reason only the sentence should be subject to some element of interference,” said the judge.

He suspended the final 12 months of Bassett’s four year sentence and ordered he be subject to 12 months’ post-release supervision.


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