herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Sex abuser's home attacked by angry mob

The home of a convicted paedophile has been attacked by an angry mob who smashed the front door off its hinges and broke windows in the house.

John Carvin (45) has been living in the Holywell estate in Swords where the group protesting about his presence had been growing in numbers since the weekend.

He avoided prison last month for sexually assaulting his brother's stepdaughter 14 years ago when she was just seven years old.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, judge Patrick McCartan said the abuse was "at the lower end of the scale" and the offence seemed to be a one-off.

Carvin was handed a three-year suspended sentence for his crime but his victim, Stephanie Phoenix (20), from Balbriggan, waived her right to anonymity so that the man who abused her could be publicly named.

She told the Herald she felt she was robbed of justice after Carvin received a suspended sentence.

In an incident at the weekend the word 'paedophile' was painted in red onto the front of the house which is beside a playground in the estate.

As word spread that the sex offender was living in the area a gang of angry people protested at the house demanding that he leave, but Carvin stayed in the property.

"There was a lot of tension in the air and the house was surrounded by people," one local man told the Herald.

"There was shouting, with words like 'paedophile' and 'scum' being heard," they added.

"Then last night at around 8pm there was a lot of banging and shouting. Then the front door was smashed off the frame," the man added. "The guards arrived shortly afterwards."

This morning two gardai were posted at the house, and it was unclear if Carvin was still inside or had fled the area.

The wooden front door was lying at an angle in the hall, and splinters of it were hanging on the hinges still attached to the frame.

Furniture inside the hall could be seen to be broken also, as well as windows at the side of the house.

Stephanie Phoenix refused to meet Carvin under the Restorative Justice Programme, saying she didn't want to be in a room with him.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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