Sentence found to be too lenient

A 71-year-old former hurling coach has been returned to prison following a finding by the Court of Appeal that his two-year prison sentence for indecently assaulting two boys in the 1980s was too lenient.

However, in its decision, delivered yesterday, the court found the maximum penalty for indecently assaulting a male in the 1980s was two years and not 10 as had been suggested.

James Maher of Clonroad Beg, Ennis, Co Clare, had pleaded guilty to 18 sample counts of indecent assault between January 1982 and April 1985.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment on each count to run concurrently by Judge Carroll Moran at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court in January 2013.

The DPP successfully applied for a sentence review on grounds it was unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal increased Maher’s sentence by one year.

President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Seán Ryan, said

the sentencing judge failed to take account of the aggravating circumstances .

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