Local Minister of State at the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has introduced a Bill that will see serial sex offenders put behind bars for longer.
The Criminal Justice (Commission of Sexual Offences ) (Amendment ) Bill 2017 seeks to amend the Criminal Justice Act 2007 by extending Section 25 to a number of sex offences, whereby a convicted sex offender who has a previous conviction for either the same or another scheduled offence must serve at least three-quarters of the maximum sentence for that further offence.
According to Deputy Moran, this Bill addresses the category of offender who creates most revulsion in society – that of the serial sex offender who ignores all rehabilitation efforts and remains a persistent public danger and menace to men, women, and children.
The Bill was introduced at First Stage on Wednesday, May 31. In the Dáil chamber and attending Wednesday’s press conference was Debbie Cole from Mullingar who has led a campaign for repeat sex offenders to serve longer jail terms. Ms Cole was subjected to rape when she was 19 years old and her attacker went on to commit further sexual offences.
Deputy Moran said he was motivated to introduce the Bill after meeting Ms Cole while out canvassing during last year’s general election campaign.
“My attention was drawn to this matter by a constituent of mine who suffered the severe trauma of being raped at the age of 19. Her attacker was jailed for six years,” Minister Moran said.
“However, he went on to sexually assault three more women in 1997 and was once more jailed again in 2015 for a period of eight years on charges of false imprisonment, assault, and making threats to kill a woman.
“These offences compounded the original victim’s psychological harm and seriously affected her wellbeing, which continues to this day.”
Minister Moran said there are also other well-documented cases of serial sex offenders committing repeat offences in this country, where the offenders have made no effort to change their ways but, in fact, appear to revel in the notoriety of their awful crimes.
Deputy Moran said the effects of rape and other serious sexual offences on the community and the victim are well documented.
“Serious sexual crimes not only impose huge psychological and physical trauma upon the victim but such offences also attack the unity and cohesion of society as a whole. It tears away the mutual protection that society offers to all its citizens,” he commented.
“If we allow the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to continue unchecked, by going on to commit similar or other more serious crimes, without imposing longer sentences for subsequent offences, then society as a whole is diminished and devalued.”