The State has failed in a bid to increase the four-year sentence for robbery handed down to a Cork man who raped and killed beautician Rachel Kiely more than 10 years ago.
Ian Horgan (aged 27) received a 12-year sentence in 2007 for the rape and manslaughter of Rachel Kiely (aged 22), who was walking her dogs in a park in Ballincollig when she was attacked on October 26, 2000.
Horgan, of The Hermitage, Macroom was initially found guilty of Rachel’s rape and murder by a jury and sentenced to life imprisonment but successfully had this conviction overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal in December 2004.
It was while was on bail for the appeal of that conviction that he robbed an elderly couple with a billhook at a rural Co Cork post office.
At his retrial in March 2006, Mr Justice Barry White imposed an eight-year sentence with six years suspended on Horgan after he was found not guilty of murder but guilty of rape and manslaughter.
This was later increased to 12 years by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
In June last year, Horgan was further jailed for four years by Judge Patrick Moran having pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and the unlawful taking of a car at Clondrohid Post Office on September 6, 2005.
Counsel for the State, Mr John O’Sullivan BL, today told the Court of Criminal Appeal that this sentence was unduly lenient as Judge Moran had failed to note Horgan was a man with a propensity to commit “significant violence”.
He said that the court of sentence also failed to properly treat the fact that Horgan was out on bail at the time of the offence as an aggravating factor.
Mr Timothy O’Leary SC, for the respondent, said Judge Moran made it “abundantly clear” he was fully aware that Horgan had committed the offence whilst out on bail and had fulfilled his obligation to impose a consecutive sentence.
He said the judge had regard to the overall context of the case, including the fact that Horgan had effectively been in jail since he was 16 and had pleaded guilty to the offence, saving his elderly victims the trauma of giving evidence at trial.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said that after considering all matters, and despite the “grotesqueness” of the crime, the court could not determine an error in principle had occurred.
However, Mr Justice Hardiman said Horgan had “plainly been marked as a violent and sadistic man” and warned him that if he wished to spend the rest of his life in prison the court would have to assist him in that regard.