Man avoids jail after pleading guilty to falsely imprisoning girl, 8

A man has confessed to a charge of falsely imprisoning an eight-year-old girl as she played with a friend.

Michael Kelly, aged 52, with an address at 7A Parklyn, Brocklesby St, Cork, pleaded guilty to the charge of falsely imprisoning the girl at Glen Avenue, Blackpool, Cork, contrary to Section 15 of the Non-fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

He was given a three-year suspended jail sentence.

Detective Garda James O’Reilly gave evidence yesterday of the false imprisonment, which effectively took the form of the accused man preventing the girl from running away after he caught on to her.

The accused approached the eight-year-old who was playing at Glen Avenue at 5.40pm that day.

The girl was with her friend. Kelly engaged them in conversation. He put his hand on her, and she tried to run away. He grabbed her by her jumper and prevented her from leaving.

“A neighbour [who witnessed this] confronted him. He ran towards Blackpool. He was followed by the witness to Thomas Davis St,” said Det Gda O’Reilly.

This witness directed gardaí to the home of the accused and they interviewed him in relation to the matter. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment charge.

Det Gda O’Reilly said of the injured party that there was no adverse effect on her.

Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said the accused had nothing like this against him in the past.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said it was an unusual offence in that the detention was momentary.

“More akin to assault than true false imprisonment,” he said. “No effort to take her from one location to another; No car on standby or anything like that. It has more in common with assault, but he has pleaded guilty to false imprisonment.

“The probation report says he always admitted the offence, co-operated and was remorseful. His previous convictions have nothing at all to do with an offence of this nature.

“In the circumstances, the plea is of material benefit. The child, who might have had to undergo trauma of a trial, does not have to do so, which of great benefit to the child.”


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