Cork rapist released from prison after appeal

A rapist described as a "serious threat to the women of Cork" has been released from prison following a successful appeal against the activation of his sentence for having a drink.

John English, aged 38, whose only available address in Cork cannot be published by court order, was sent back to prison for five years for not complying with the conditions of his release from prison for the rape of an Australian woman he met in a bar in Cork.

In 2004 he was sentenced to 18 years’ prison with five suspended, after pleading guilty to raping the tourist in November 2002.

He was described by Mr Justice Barry White at the time as “a danger and a menace to society” and “a serious threat to the women of Cork”. Judge White suspended five years of the sentence on condition that English comply with all recommendations made by the Probation Services, who directed that he abstain from alcohol.

After English was released in September 2012, he was spotted drinking and the case was re-entered in the Central Criminal Court where the five-year suspended period of imprisonment was reactivated.

He successfully appealed yesterday against the activation of the entire five years and was released on conditions that afternoon.

Mr Justice Michael Peart, presiding, said the Court of Appeal was satisfied that the activation of the entire five- year suspended period was disproportionate to the breach of bail conditions.

He said English had taken a drink with his father a short time after his release, having served 13 years of the 18-year sentence.

Mr Justice Barry White, who ordered the activation of English’s suspended period, was of the view that due to the particular circumstances of this case, he had no option but to activate the entire sentence and he did so, Mr Justice Peart said.

Having found that the activation of the entire five- year period was a disproportionate sentence given the nature of the breach, the Court of Appeal set aside the activation order.

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