Child rapist’s sentence appeal dismissed

A man who lured two girls away from a birthday party and told them he would cut their parents’ throats before repeatedly raping them has had an appeal against his sentence dismissed.
Child rapist’s sentence appeal dismissed

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the girls, aged nine and six, in a flat in Athlone on September 28, 2013. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by Mr Justice Paul Carney on March 3, 2014.

The man moved to appeal his sentence last month on grounds that it was excessive in all the circumstances.

His barrister, Seán Gillane, acknowledged at the outset there were certain “nightmarish aspects” about this case involving violations of an unspeakable kind of the personal and bodily integrity of two children.

Mr Gillane said certain aspects of the man’s assistance should have merited a different approach by the trial judge.

On foot of advice that he received from his solicitor, he made full admissions and indicated how the case would be approached before he left the Garda station, said Mr Gillane.

It was indicated that there would be no requests for medical notes or disclosure and no requests even for disclosure of the tapes of interview of the two victims “which in my experience was unique,” Mr Gillane said.

His solicitor then indicated in that early remand period that there would be a willingness and desire not to receive a book of evidence and to be sent forward on a signed plea of guilty.

Mr Justice Birmingham remarked that the man’s solicitor, Gearoid Geraghty, did a splendid job.

“The fact there’s room for debate is entirely due to the quality of the legal advice he gave,” he said.

Giving judgment yesterday, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the facts of the case were “almost to horrible to recount”.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the court had concluded that the facts of the case were such that they could truly be said to be exceptional.

He said the abduction of two very young girls from a children’s birthday party and their rape in the manner described meant that these offences were exceptional.

The court could not conclude that the sentencing judge had erred in imposing discretionary life sentences, Mr Justice Birmingham said.

Accordingly, Mr Justice Birmingham — who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon — dismissed the man’s appeal.

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