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Man who raped two girls after luring them from birthday party has appeal dismissed

Published 21/12/2015

Man moved to appeal his sentence last month on grounds that it was excessive
Man moved to appeal his sentence last month on grounds that it was excessive

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

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty at the Republic's Central Criminal Court to raping the nine and six year old girls 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, Sean Gillane SC, acknowledged at the outset that 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 he received from his solicitor, he made full admissions and indicated how the case would be approached before he left the Garda station, Mr Gillane said.

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”.

Giving judgment today Mr Justice George Birmingham said the facts of the case were “almost too 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 and their rape in the manner described meant these offences were exceptonal.

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 appeal.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent

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