Saturday 16 December 2017

Man who raped little girls appeals life term

A man who lured two little girls away from a birthday party and told them he would cut their parents' throats before repeatedly raping them has moved to appeal his life sentence.

The 32-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the nine and six-year-old girls in a flat in Athlone on September 28, 2013.

He was given two life sentences by Mr Justice Paul Carney on March 3 last year.

The man moved to appeal his sentence yesterday on grounds that it was excessive in all the circumstances.


His barrister, Sean Gillane, acknowledged at the outset that there were certain "nightmarish aspects" about the case, but said certain aspects of the man's assistance should have merited a different approach by the trial judge.

On foot of advice he received from his solicitor, he made full admissions before he left the garda station, said Mr Gillane.

He said that, in that early remand period, there would be a willingness and desire not to receive a book of evidence and to be sent forward on a signed plea of guilty.

Mr Gillane said his plea and acknowledgment of wrong- doing at the very least pointed towards positive rehabilitative steps being taken.

Counsel for the DPP, Patrick McGrath, said it was difficult to conceive of a more horrific set of circumstances. The girls were "lured" from a place of safety and the acts themselves were horrific.

The fact a stranger was cap-able of emerging out of nowhere to commit this offence was as bad if not worse than abuse being carried out within a family, he added.

The only mitigating factor was the early plea, he said.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the court would reserve judgment.

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