JUDGE WILL GIVE WRIT­TEN JUDG­MENT IN ANONYMITY CASE

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

A High Court judge has said he will de­liver a writ­ten judg­ment when he rules on an ap­pli­ca­tion by a rape vic­tim to waive her anonymity.

Last March, a jury con­victed a 41-year-old Wick­low man of re­peated sex­ual at­tacks on a neigh­bour­ing child when she was aged ap­prox­i­mately nine.

The man had pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and two counts of in­de­cent as­sault in Co Wick­low on un­known dates be­tween 1987 and 1989. Mr Jus­tice Michael White, sit­ting at the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court, im­posed a seven-year sen­tence in May.

At that time he con­tin­ued an order, made dur­ing the trial, pre­vent­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the iden­tity of both par­ties. He said he made this order at the re­quest of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP).

Lawyers for the DPP sub­se­quently brought the case back be­fore Mr Jus­tice White and told the court that the woman now wished to waive her anonymity, so her abuser could be named.

Paul Mur­ray SC told the court the DPP was ap­ply­ing for the court to lift the order pre­vent­ing pub­li­ca­tion of the names of the par­ties.

De­fence coun­sel Col­man Fitzger­ald SC told the court that his client wished to challenge the ap­pli­ca­tion. He said there is no ba­sis in law for the anonymity of com­plainants to be set aside.

He said that it was an of­fence for any­one to pub­lish the iden­tity of a rape com­plainant and there was noth­ing in the law that per­mits a com­plainant to dis­card this pro­hi­bi­tion.

Jus­tice White said the ap­pli­ca­tion had raised sig­nif­i­cant is­sues for the court and sig­nif­i­cant is­sues as to whether judges should be say­ing something dur­ing the course of these tri­als.

He noted that he had re­ceived writ­ten submission­s from both the DPP and de­fence.

He said he now in­tends to give a writ­ten judg­ment on July 11 but said as his court is very busy at the mo­ment he may not be in a po­si­tion to do this.

The mat­ter was ad­journed to Thursday, July 11.

The man first raped his vic­tim dur­ing a game of hide-and-seek when she was aged ap­prox­i­mately nine years old and he was 17 years old. He raped the girl three more times dur­ing that sum­mer and told her not to tell any­one as it was ‘their se­cret’.

The vic­tim came for­ward to make a state­ment in 2013 and there were a num­ber of tri­als which collapsed be­fore the man was con­victed.

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