Rapist avoids jail for failing to tell gardaí of move

In one of the first cases of its kind in Limerick, a notorious rapist who attacked a teenage French student the day before she went home was yesterday given a suspended jail sentence for failing to notify gardaí that he had moved address in the city.

Francis Goggin, aged 43, was found walking a dog near a new address at South Circular Road, by the garda with whom he was to liaise with since being placed on the sex offenders register.

Limerick District Court, heard that Goggin, who was jailed for eight years in 2005 for aggravated rape, gave false addresses when challenged about his new place of residence.

Goggin’s rape victim, a virgin, was attacked the night before she was due to return home after coming to Limerick to learn English.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly said the integrity of the sex offenders’ register was entirely dependent on gardaí knowing the addresses of those on it. He said the onus was on convicted sex offenders to notify gardaí where they resided and it was not for the gardaí to keep chasing these persons.

Garda Tom Dilleen, Henry Street said he was detailed to monitor Goggin since he was placed on the sex offenders’ register after he was convicted at the Central Criminal Court in January 2005 of raping and falsely imprisoning a woman in the city on the night of August 15/16, 2003.

After his release from prison he had met with Goggin at a flat in O’Curry Street, his registered address under the sex offenders legislation.

Garda Dilleen said he had received no notification from Goggin that he was moving to a new address at Laurel Villas, South Circular Road.

Having got Goggin’s mobile phone number from his mother, Garda Dilleen said he made unsuccessful efforts last April to contact Goggin.

On the evening of May 5, he came across Goggin, with a female friend, walking a dog on the South Circular Road.

When questioned about his change of address, Goggin gave two wrong addresses, before telling Garda Dilleen of his new address at Laurel Villas.

Sgt John Flanagan, said he had been sergeant-in-charge at Henry Street station since last May. His duties involved engaging with registered sex offenders who had to inform gardaí of changes of address and any moves outside the jurisdiction for any period. At no time did he receive any communication from Goggin. He said such meetings were recorded and a print-out given to the sex offender and another kept by gardaí.

Goggin, in evidence, said he had gone to Henry Street Garda station in November or December 2012 after he was told the residence where he was living in O’Curry Street was being sold and he would have to move. He said at the front desk at the garda station he asked for a detective he knew and told a garda on duty he was moving address. He felt he had complied with his obligations at all times, as a registered sex offender.

Cross examined by Insp Brian Sugrue why he had given two wrong addresses when confronted by Garda Dilleen last May, Goggin said he was not thinking right at the time.

He said he did not ask for his liaison garda, Garda Dilleen, when he went to Henry Street as he had forgotten his name. Goggin claimed he did not know anything about getting a receipt from the garda station when a change of address was given.

Judge O’Kelly said obligations under the sex offenders’ act placed very strong responsibilities on convicted persons. The act, he said, provides for specific information and notification be given to gardaí and it was the responsibility of sex offenders to know their obligations and duties.

Judge O’Kelly said Goggin’s casual approach was not acceptable and he had been evasive when giving two incorrect addresses to Garda Dilleen.

He imposed a seven month suspended jail sentence and bound Goggin to the peace for two years.

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