herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Rapist soldier to remain in army for two more weeks

A SOLDIER who has been jailed for raping and threatening to kill a woman he snatched off the street will remain a member of the defence forces for another two weeks.

Gary Kinsella (27), from Allenton Avenue, Tallaght, but serving at Cathal Brugha Barracks, changed his plea on the second day of his trial to guilty of rape, oral rape and threatening to kill the 37-year-old woman on August 8, 2008.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at the Central Criminal Court.

As Kinsella was a serving member of the Defence Forces at the time of his arrest and taken into custody in March last year, he could not be discharged while on trial. And even though he has now been convicted, the Defence Forces have to wait 21 days from his sentencing, which was just over a week ago, before they can initiate his discharge.

"He was a serving soldier and our hands have been tied on his discharge because it would be an interference in the legal process," said an army source.



swift

"We have to wait for due process to take place, and up until that point he remains a member, but obviously not an active one ever since he was taken into custody.

"But once the appeal time elapses the move to discharge will be swift.

"And because Kinsella pleaded guilty we don't foresee any delays in that discharge process." The army source said the Kinsella trial was watched very closely in the Defence Forces.

"We demand very high standards from our members, and it is important to remember there are nearly 9,800 members who perform within those standards, but every big organisation will have a few bad apples," the source told the Herald.

"Anyone who falls outside that standard does not remain in the force a second longer than is necessary."

Kinsella's victim described in evidence how she had passed Kinsella, who was unknown to her, while walking home from the gym. He came up quickly behind her, grabbed her hair and dragged her across the street through presbytery gates.

The woman said Kinsella beat her about the face, fractured her nose and threatened to kill her as he dragged her screaming to a secluded garden.

She said he pulled her clothes off and dragged her naked to a gap between bushes and the garden fence, where he raped her. The victim gave further evidence that Kinsella subjected her to more sex assaults.

She said her attacker got up and leaped over the garden fence when gardai arrived on the scene with torches.

Mr Justice George Birmingham noted that Kinsella's offences were at the "upper end of the scale" considering the predatory elements of stalking, forced abduction and physical violence accompanied by multiple threats to kill.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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