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Tuesday 11 December 2018

Rapist who asked girl (10) about condoms dies before sentencing

Paul Davis
Paul Davis

A convicted rapist who made a shocking approach to a 10-year-old girl in shopping centre toilets has died while awaiting sentence.

Paul Davis (55) had admitted showing the girl a condom and questioning her about it in the incident at Blanchardstown Centre, and was waiting for a penalty to be imposed by the courts.

He was out on bail pending the outcome of his case.

However, yesterday, when it was due to heard, a judge was told of his death and the proceedings were withdrawn by the prosecution.

Deceased

Davis, of Casement Road, Finglas, had pleaded guilty in July to breach of the peace, contrary to common law.

At that stage, the facts were heard at Dublin District Court by Judge Dermot Simms, who ordered a pre-sentence probation report and adjourned the case.

Yesterday, it came back before the same court, with Judge Ann Ryan presiding. Solicitor Danica Kinane said she was representing the accused.

A garda witness then told Judge Ryan that he had been informed by the prosecuting officer that "Mr Davis is now deceased".

The case was not discussed further and no cause of death was stated.

"May he rest in peace," Judge Ryan said.

On the previous date, the court heard the incident happened on June 29, 2016.

Garda Bernard Connaughton gave evidence that Davis met the girl in the shopping centre toilets on the day.

He had a condom in his hand and asked her if she knew what it was, Gda Connaughton said.

He then asked her more questions about it - if she knew how to open it, use it and put it on.

The little girl left the scene and went and told her mother what had happened. Davis returned to the centre the following day and was arrested.

When questioned, he told investigating gardai he was in the toilets on the day in question and did not remember what happened.

Davis had a severe drink problem and "didn't recall the entirety of the previous day", the court was told.

He had a number of previous convictions, including one for rape in 1998, for which he was given a 10-year sentence.

Drinking

Solicitor Michael Hanahoe, who represented Davis at the earlier hearing, asked Judge Simms to order a probation report before finalising the case, saying this would show the accused's circumstances.

He said Davis's parents had died, there was a dispute in relation to the family home, he was not allowed into it and had been drinking heavily.

State solicitor Michael Durkan had said if the girl did wish to make a statement and if that was available, he would make sure a copy was given to the defence.

Davis had not addressed the court during the previous brief hearing. After it, Judge Simms had remanded him on continuing bail.

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