Rapist father’s ‘lenient’ sentence to be appealed

The new Court of Appeal will hear an application from prosecutors that the sentence handed down to the father of well-known abuse victim Fiona Doyle was unduly lenient.

Patrick O’Brien, aged 74, had pleaded guilty to 16 charges of rape and indecent assault at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Rd, Dun Laoghaire, from 1973 to 1982.

Trial judge Mr Justice Paul Carney had described it as one of the worst cases of abuse one could possibly find. Mr Justice Carney, taking into account O’Brien’s health problems, sentenced him to 12 years in prison, suspended the final nine and granted him bail pending an appeal.

O’Brien is currently in prison serving the non-suspended portion of his sentence.

The DPP had appealed the sentence on grounds that it was unduly lenient.

His daughter Fiona Doyle, who waived her right to anonymity, spoke of her devastation at the time of his sentence.

The State’s application will be heard before the new Court of Appeal on December 17.

The registrar of the new Court of Appeal sat yesterday to hear applications for an appeal to be listed on a specific date.

There were no judges sitting for the criminal list of cases for appeals against sentence and undue leniency.

There were 148 cases listed for mention and as many legal counsel, if not more, were in the room.

Dates were agreed for 146 cases.


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