herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Mother's rage at 'evil monster' using baby's death as excuse

Michael Martin got 13 years
Michael Martin got 13 years

The mother of a young girl who was tragically killed in a drowning accident over 25 years ago has branded sick child snatcher Michael Martin an "evil monster" for trying to use her daughter's death as an excuse for his slew of violent crimes.

The convicted sex offender was handed a 13-year jail term after he snatched an 11-year-old girl and bundled her into a stolen Jeep in front of her younger twin brothers earlier this year.

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard that Martin had suffered post traumatic stress disorder following the suicide of his pregnant girlfriend a number of years ago and from witnessing the death of a young "playmate" when he was a child.

On August 30, 1990, little Sandra Doyle (4) tragically drowned in a council septic tank in Glencor, Co Wicklow.

The tot had been playing near her home in Mallen Wood estate when the heartbreaking accident occurred.

The court heard how Martin, who also lived in the estate, was deeply affected by the incident.

However, Sandra's heartbroken mother Margaret Doyle (47) has said others witnessed the horrific event, and they "turned out just fine".

"We had no knowledge that this would be used in his defence. It sickens us to the core to hear it," she said.

"Michael was never a playmate or friends with Sandra; she was only four, he was 11. His younger sister was friends with our little girl, she lost her little friend but managed to grow up to be a fine and decent member of society," she added.

Unforgivable

"To think that the death of our little angel has been put on public record and is now associated with the depraved acts of such an evil monster has left us speechless. It is disgraceful; it had never even crossed our minds that he would even think of it," she said.

Meanwhile, the family member of a young girl who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Martin has said "he should never see the light of day again".

"What the did to our family is unforgivable. What he did to [loved one] is unforgivable. She never got over it. We never got over it. We had to leave our family home."

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