A 65-year-old man jailed for raping and sexually assaulting his niece for over a decade has had his 12-year sentence reduced by two years by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Today, the three-judge CCA made the reduction after holding that sentencing Judge Mr Justice Paul Carney did not take into account Charlie Dunne's early admission of guilt before imposing a 12-year prison sentence.
Dunne (aged 65), 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 years old, and she was first raped about the time of her First Communion.
Last October Dunne jailed was for 12 years and registered as a sex offender by Mr Justice Carney. Dunne appealed the severity of that sentence.
The girl made a complaint to the Gardaí in 2001 and after he was sentenced she told the Judge she wanted him "publicly named and shamed" in the media.
Today, the CCA of Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman presiding sitting with Mr Justice Eamonn De Valera and Mr Justice Michael Peart, reduced the sentence from 12 to 10 years after agreeing with John Aylmer SC for Dunne that the trial judge had erred by not taking into consideration his client's early plea.
Counsel for the DPP, Mr Paul O'Higgins SC, had argued that there was no error "in principle" and the sentence should remain intact.
Mr Justice Hardiman said that there "was no doubt" that this was "a bad case" involving a large number of "very substantial offences" committed over a lengthy period of time.
The court was satisfied that Mr Justice Carney "was erroneous" because the discount which Dunne was entitled to for his early plea "was withheld."