A MAN has appealed against his four-year sentence for the sexual exploitation of a 13-year-old child in what was the first prosecution taken under child protection legislation.
The Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the case of Muhammad Hussain (32), who was jailed by Judge Sarah Berkeley at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last April 4.
He had pleaded not guilty to travelling with the intent of meeting a child, having met or communicated with the child on two or more occasions, with the intent of doing an act that would constitute sexual exploitation on July 22, 2011.
Hussain, with a last address at Steam Boat Quay, Limerick, appealed on the grounds that the sentence was too severe and the judge had no precedent as a guide.
The Court of Appeal heard Hussain was 29 when the offences took place and the girl 13.
His counsel, Ciaran O'Loughlin SC, said it was the first conviction under this section and a maximum sentence of 14 years was applicable for the most heinous of acts including child abduction and trafficking which was nowhere near the offence Hussain committed.
Counsel for the DPP, Dominic McGinn SC, said it was not the case that Judge Berkeley blindly accepted the subjective view of prosecution counsel's recommended sentence.
The judge imposed a four-year sentence and gave Hussain credit for time spent in custody.