Belfast Telegraph

Victims relieved as court upholds jail sentence of paedophile coach Kenneally

The Court of Appeal disagreed with Kenneally’s claims that his 14-year sentence was grossly excessive.

A victim of Waterford basketball coach Bill Kenneally has said he is relieved that the sex abuser has failed in a legal bid to reduce his prison sentence.

The Court of Appeal upheld Kenneally’s 14-year sentence following a legal challenge by his lawyers who claimed it was grossly excessive.

One of the 67-year-old’s victims, Jason Clancy, said he hoped that all those harmed by Kenneally would find solace from the court’s ruling.

Speaking after the judgement, Mr Clancy said: “It is a relief, not just for myself, but for all the victims.”

He added: “We are delighted with the sentence. It is a very fair sentence. It is the largest for a paedophile in the history of the state, but Kenneally is one of the biggest paedophiles in the history of the state.

“There is such a large volume of victims. I hope they get solace from today.”

Kenneally, with an address at Summerville Avenue, Waterford city, pleaded guilty to 10 sample counts of indecently assaulting 10 boys at various locations in Waterford in the 1980s.

This was a case where consecutive sentences were appropriate Court of Appeal

He was sentenced at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court to 14 years and two months imprisonment by Judge Eugene O’Kelly in February 2016.

The Court of Appeal heard that the sentencing judge imposed consecutive 17-month sentences in respect of each of the 10 victims.

His lawyers claimed that the sentence was “grossly excessive”.

However, the Court of Appeal ruled that “this was a case where consecutive sentences were appropriate and so the Court is of the view that the sentence arrived at as a result of that exercise of 14 years and two months was not an inappropriate one.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said: “We have concluded that the sentence arrived at, while severe, and indeed while certainly at the upper end of the available range, was not so severe as to constitute an error in principle.”

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