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Man facing sentence hike for 'brutal' rape of six-year-old

Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Ruaidhrí Giblin

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Tipperary man facing sentence hike for 'brutal' rape of six-year-old

'I have got you now,' Tipperary resident Dan Flynn told the victim

A 76-year-old former farm labourer has been told that his two-year jail term for brutally raping a six-year-old girl forty years ago was “unduly lenient”.

Dan Flynn, a County Tipperary resident, was 36-years-old when he grabbed the six-year-old girl and threw her onto his bed, telling her “I have got you now.”

He raped the child, forced his penis into her mouth, spat into her face and stepped over her as she lay on the ground. “As if I was nothing,” the victim said. 

Flynn, who lived with his late mother at the time, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to raping the child at his home on a date in 1979. 

He now suffers from Parkinson's Disease and requires a mobility aid, which Mr Justice Michael White considered when he sentenced him to six years imprisonment with the final four suspended on May 13, 2019. 

The woman, now a married mother of children, told the Central Criminal Court that Flynn was a “cruel, bad tempered man” whom she was afraid of as a child. “It makes me very angry that it was covered up and nothing was done,” she told the court. “There was nothing wrong with Dan Flynn when he sexually assaulted me all those years ago” she said.

The Court of Appeal deemed Flynn’s two-year jail term to be “unduly lenient” on Friday, on foot of an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions. He will be resentenced next month. 

Counsel for the DPP, Michael Bowman SC, submitted that a two-year jail term did not “come close to reflecting the gravity” of the offence. Mr Bowman said it involved a troubling level of brutality and degradation, and the “ripple effects” had been felt in every personal aspect of the victim’s life 40 years after the event. 

Citing the victim impact report, Mr Bowman said Flynn was a 36-year-old man, who had no physical difficulty at the time, and knew right from wrong. He said too much credit was given for Flynn’s guilty plea, which was entered at the “11th hour” on the Friday before his trial was due to begin.

Furthermore, he said the sentencing judge afforded too much weight to Flynn’s medical issues, which were “pithily” explained by a list of the medication he had been prescribed together with a four-line statement of fact that he had Parkinson’s. 

Counsel for Flynn, Colman Cody SC, submitted that the nine-year headline sentence, with a three-year discount for the guilty plea, was not substantially outside the norm. 

Mr Cody said the medical report was terse because it spoke for itself. He said Flynn had spent six years in two nursing homes, where he required full-time care, by the time he came to be sentenced. He said the suspension of four years was “perhaps generous” but it was proportionate having regard to the case. 

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said the three-judge court was “firmly of the view” that Flynn’s two-year jail term was “unduly lenient”. However, before proceeding to resentence Flynn, he said the court required a detailed medical report outlining the current arrangements in prison and what the daily routine is. 

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Brian McGovern and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said the court hoped to deliver its decision on February 13 next.