Jail for convicted child abuser who sexually assaulted two teenage girls

Both women, now aged 20 and 23 years old, waived their anonymity allowing Patrick Kelly to be identified
Jail for convicted child abuser who sexually assaulted two teenage girls
File photo. Picture: iStock

A convicted child abuser who sexually assaulted two teenage girls while he was acting as their Taekwon-Do instructor has been jailed for two years.

Both women, now aged 20 and 23 years old, waived their anonymity allowing Patrick Kelly (52) to be identified in reporting the case.

Kelly is already serving a nine-year prison sentence, handed down in December 2017, for sexual assault and exploitation of two children. He is also serving a consecutive term of four years, imposed last month, for rape, sexual assault and exploitation of a girl he groomed after he met her at a city bus stop.

Kelly of Ballyfermot Road, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting the first teenager by kissing her with force and by grabbing her bottom. These offences took place on unknown dates sometime in mid-2014.

Kelly also pleaded guilty to assaulting the second victim by grabbing her bottom, placing a hand on her bottom and kissing her neck. These three offences took place on unknown dates between July 2011 and July 2012.

Today Judge Melanie Greally imposed a two-year term of imprisonment which she said should begin today.

She acknowledged that while the offences before her were for a less serious offence than those dealt with previously, Kelly's crime had a devastating impact on both women.

'Deeply inappropriate' and totally unwanted contact

Judge Greally noted that Kelly had been engaging in “lewd sexual communication” with both girls via text message. She said he had initiated the contact and described it as “deeply inappropriate” and totally unwanted.

Kelly began texting one victim at the age of 12 and in one message he asked her if she knew what an orgasm was and said if she wanted one to come down to his house. He would also make reference to her body and always told her to delete the messages from her phone.

Judge Greally said the offences represented a gross breach of trust in that he was their Taekwon-Do instructor and also referred to the fact that Kelly was embraced into one of the girl's family from a very young age.

Judge Greally said:

Both girls have suffered lasting damage as a consequence of these events. They have experienced great fear, loss of trust and confidence.

Judge Greally added that Kelly caused considerable harm at a very sensitive time in their development.

She noted that Kelly had pleaded guilty and co-operated with the garda investigation and said she was also taking into account a five-year post-release supervision order which had been handed down during the sentencing in the Central Criminal Court last month.

Judge Greally addressed both women in court and thanked them for “sticking with the process and giving your victim impact statement.” She said she hoped that bringing a conclusion to the whole process “will help you move on with your lives”.

The first girl, now aged 20 years old, began taking Taekwon-Do lessons with Kelly when she was six years old. Reading her victim impact statement she said she stood in court not as a victim but as a survivor who is trying to move on.

She said she had been left with scars that she doesn't think will ever go away. She said the abuse “began with manipulation before you ever put your hands on me”.

She referred to what Kelly did to her mind and how he made her feel alone.

“You wanted me to keep your secrets but they were all yours,” she said. She added that she will never be able to explain the fear she felt praying that he would not come near her, or when she walked past his home or saw a white van like Kelly's.

You made me feel so uncomfortable in my own body because of your snide comments. 

She described Kelly as getting “inside my head”.

She described how her whole family thought he was “an amazing man”. The woman described “night terrors” and said she couldn't get away from Kelly in her sleep.

“The feeling of fear still has not left me. The panic was so much worse when you all of a sudden stopped talking to me,” she continued.

“The whole process has nearly broken me,” the woman continued, referring to the fact that Kelly pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial, she said “dragging your guilty plea to the last minute”.

“Your dirty secrets are out and this is the last time I will speak in your presence,” the woman concluded.

In her victim impact statement read out by prosecution counsel Gerardine Small BL, the second woman described how the abuse has left her uncomfortable speaking to men. She said she is glad he has pleaded guilty and owned up to things he has done.

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE

Detective Garda Annalisa Hannigan told Ms Small that Kelly began texting the first woman, when she was about 12 years old. He had been her Taekwon-Do instructor from the time she was six years old and regularly brought her and her brother to training. Kelly was a friend of her father's.

In one message Kelly asked the girl if she knew what an orgasm was and said if she wanted one to come down to his house. He would also make reference to her body and always told her to delete the text message from her phone.

One evening Kelly drove past her and her friends in his van but came back and told her to get into the van. He then asked her for a kiss and put his lips out before he caught her arm and pulled her into him.

The girl turned her head away and Kelly's kiss caught the side of her cheek. She got out of the van and Kelly laughed. She later told gardaí that she was scared and didn't say anything because she thought it was embarrassing.

She recalled getting a new phone for Christmas 2013 and Kelly texted her telling her that she had a lovely body but it would be nicer without her clothes on. He asked her for a naked picture. She didn't reply and he sent a similar text requesting a photograph again.

During one training session he asked her to get sparring pads from the equipment room. She bent down to pick them up and felt a hand squeeze her bum. She looked up and saw it was Kelly.

He started to laugh but she was in shock. He asked her to put the equipment back at the end of training and she refused.

Det Gda Hannigan said the second girl joined Kelly's Taekwon-Do class when she was nine years old. She also recalled getting text messages commenting on her clothes.

He asked her to stay back after one training session and brought her out in to the hall where he tried to kiss her on the lips. He pulled her towards him and touched her on the bum outside her clothes.

The girl later told gardaí she was nearly crying. She got a lift home from an older man in the class that night and he asked her if she was alright. Kelly later texted her to ask her if she was “OK”.

On another occasion she arrived for training and went into an office to get changed into her gear. Kelly was there photocopying. He walked past her, kissed her on the neck and felt her bum outside her clothing.

Det Gda Hannigan said she met Kelly by appointment at Terenure Garda Station on August 2, 2017 but nothing of significance came out of the interview.

She confirmed for Judge Greally that these offences and those for which he is serving time in prison, all occurred around the same time.

Det Gda Hannigan accepted a suggestion from Sean Guerin SC, defending, that these offences were less serious than those which have previously been dealt with. She also acknowledged that Kelly agreed to meet gardaí by arrangement.

Mr Guerin submitted that his client is already serving a lengthy sentence and stated that these were “a small number of incidences of offending at the lower end of that scale”.

He said he had “express instructions” from his client to apologise for his behaviour.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in December 2017, Kelly was jailed after he pleaded guilty to sexual assault of two children. 

Last month, at the Central Criminal Court, he was jailed after he pleaded guilty to one count of rape, 12 counts of defilement and 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a child between February 2014 and December 2015.

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