A man convicted of abusing a child will serve an additional three years in jail after the Appeals Court agreed with the attorney general that the initial sentence was inadequate.
The 50 year old man, who had pleaded guilty to seven charges of abusing a child and was found guilty on two other counts, was initally sentenced to four years in jail.
The attorney general submitted an appeal on the grounds that this was inadequate. The Appeals Court upheld the apeal and increased the sentence to seven years.
The victim at the time the offences were committed was a 14 year old girl with mild intellectual disability. The defendant exploited their family ties and would show her pornographic material on a computer or engage in indecent acts in her presence, according to the Supreme Court decision.
In reviewing the sentence, the Appeals Court said that the convicted man’s indecent acts, their duration over one year and the fact that the maximum penalty for such an offence is life imprisonment, rendered the four year sentence as clearly inadequate.
It said that the Appeals Court intervention as to the severity of the sentence was justified, noting that the man had hurt the underage girl’s psychological world and provoked post traumatic stress.
It also commented on the fact that the accused had been cleared on four charges of indecent assault for exhibiting his genitals to the girl.
The uninvited exhibiting of a man’s genitals to a woman can be seen as constitutings an ‘assault’ on her dignity, the court said and where it involves a child, is an ‘assault’ on the rights of the child as safeguarded by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the EU’s Fundamnetal Charter on the Protection of the Rights of the Child.
It said it would not expand on the issue as it had not been raised by the Republic but noted it for consideration in the future.