“We were all expecting it would go to double digits given the number of children he assaulted. We are very disappointed to put it mildly. He put us through so much. He’ll be out in four years and we’ll have to live with the consequences of what he did forever,” the father of one victim said.
His son, now aged 20, assaulted in the toilets of Burger King on St Patrick Street in 1994, said he was “distraught, disgusted” with the sentence. “We thought he’d get at least 10 years. We don’t feel justice was done.”
The father of another victim said he was glad Lombard would be “out of society for a period of time”. “I don’t think he will ever be reformed. I feel no pity towards him,” he said.
Lombard, aged 37, from the Blarney Street/Sunday’s Well area of Cork, was given a seven-year prison sentence, the last two suspended, for seven sex assaults on which he was found guilty by a jury and nine counts to which he pleaded guilty.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin also placed him on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period and barred him from attending public swimming pools on his release.
Lombard carried out the assaults in the toilets of fast food restaurants, swimming pools and playing fields in the early 1990s. Two of his victims were girls, 14 were boys, none older than the age of 10.
Addressing Lombard in court yesterday, Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “You have paedophilic tendencies, you are an ongoing risk, your problems are unattended to, nothing that happened caused you to attend to your problems.
“You are suffering from an active compunction which had you abusing and preying on young children.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin criticised Lombard for absconding on the last day of his jury trial in February, adding to the distress of his victims. Lombard said he went on the run because he had panicked.
Judge Ó Donnabháin dismissed this saying: “You didn’t go missing in a panic because the evidence to me is that you collected your dole first.” Lombard was picked up by gardaí three weeks later, in Carrigaline, Co Cork.
Lombard apologised in court saying: “I am very very sorry for all that has been done, all the mess that has been done. I would like to say I am sorry for what I have done. If I could turn back the clock I would do things differently. I deeply regret what I have done.”
However Judge Ó Donnabháin accused him of having a lack of empathy for his victims and said he was concerned he would reoffend.