29 May 2006

Jailed rapist seeking freedom

RTÉ

**Keep irresponsibly fecking with the law and this is what you get, but then, there is a whole contingent of so-called 'responsible' men (and some women) who would like to see rape and child sex laws done away with altogether.

29 May 2006 17:21

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIn the High Court the State is vigorously defending the continued detention of a 41-year-old man, jailed for the unlawful carnal knowledge of a 12-year-old child.

The man, known only as Mr A, is asking the court to order his release from prison following last week's Supreme Court judgment striking down the law on statutory rape.

Mr A was jailed for three years in 2004 for the statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl after he had bought her seven alcoholic drinks. Innocence was taken from a young child, the trial judge commented when he jailed the man.

Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on Section 1.1 of the 1935 Act, Mr A claims his detention is unlawful and he should be released immediately.

High Court judge Miss Justice Mary Laffoy must decide on this application.

It is the first from a convicted sex offender to come before the courts in the aftermath of last week's judgment.

The man admitted committing the offence and never asserted a defence of mistake in relation to the girl's age.

His senior counsel Conor Devally said it is not their case that the conviction or sentence are invalid and they are not asking the court to review the decision of the DPP to prosecute or the actions of the trial judge. They are simply saying that there is no longer a lawful mechanism to hold Mr A.

But the State responds that it would be an appalling vista if those who pleaded guilty to very serious offences involving pre-teen children were to get a windfall bonus from the Supreme Court decision.

He should not be allowed, Gerard Hogan SC contended, now to march through a gap in the statute.

There is a large stone in the road that obstructs his application, Mr Hogan said, and that large stone is his conviction.

The case is continuing.

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