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Court Lenient In Tipperary Sexual Assault Case

Joseph Finnerty

The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal has today ruled that a three-year sentence imposed on a Tipperary man, who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl, was too lenient.

Forty Seven year old Mr Joseph Finnerty, Grove Villas, Roscrea, who previously resided with his elderly mother, is just weeks away from prison release, having been convicted of false imprisonment and sexual assault in 2009.

During the assault Mr Finnerty’s victim had tried to escape from his car, as he drove her to Glassderry Wood in Co Offaly, prior to attacking her. His victim claimed that the events of that night, had completely destroyed her life making her anxious and hyper-vigilant.

Following his six-day trial at the Central Criminal Court, the accused was found guilty and jailed for three years, but today the DPP appealed that sentence handed down, on the grounds that same was unduly lenient.

The court heard that it was hard to imagine how one single incident of sexual assault could have been worse, than in this case, where a young girl had been preyed upon by an older man.

Lawyers representing Joseph Finnerty stated that their client had no previous history of any sexual offences. However during the trial in 2009 Sgt Aidan Farrelly had stated that Mr Finnerty had 25 previous other convictions, which included three assaults, road traffic offences and criminal damage.

The court today added an additional one year to Mr Finnerty’s sentence, which is to be suspended on the grounds that Mr Finnerty is due for release, from his custodial sentence, in the coming weeks.

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