65-year-old who raped niece has sentence reduced

A 65-YEAR-OLD man jailed for raping and sexually assaulting his niece for more than a decade has had his 12-year sentence reduced by two years by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The three-judge appeal court made the reduction after holding that the 12-year sentence he received at the Central Criminal Court last year did not take into account Charlie Dunne’s early admission of guilt.

Dunne, of Carnalynch, Bailieborough, pleaded guilty to raping and sexually assaulting his niece from 1971 to 1982 in Cavan, Dublin and Wicklow. The abuse started when the girl was just five and she was first raped about the time of her First Communion.

Last October, Dunne was jailed for 12 years and registered as a sex offender by Mr Justice Paul Carney. Dunne appealed the severity of that sentence. The appeal was brought on grounds that Judge Carney had erred by not taking into consideration the early guilty plea. The girl made a complaint to the gardaí in 2001 and after Dunne was sentenced she said she wanted him “publicly named and shamed”.

Yesterday the appeal court of Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman presiding reduced the sentence from 12 to 10 years.

The court was satisfied that Mr Justice Carney “was erroneous” because the discount to which Dunne was entitled for his early plea “was withheld”.

However, Mr Justice Hardiman said this was not a case where a substantive discount can be imposed.

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