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Ex-soldier loses his bid to appeal sex abuse case

April 7th, 2019 3:02 PM

By Southern Star Team

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A FORMER army officer from West Cork who groomed and sexually abused two teenage boys during the 1990s has been refused extra time to appeal his 11-year sentence.

Timothy O’Sullivan (67) of Marlborough Road, in Dublin pleaded guilty to sexual assault, as well as oral and anal rape, of two boys on dates between 1991 and 1996 at locations in Dublin.

The Central Criminal Court heard that O’Sullivan was in his forties at the time, while the boys were 13-16. He subjected the two boys to abuse and threatened them they would be shot or buried in the mountains.

Sentencing O’Sullivan to five years and six years consecutively, Mr Justice Tony Hunt commended the bravery of the two victims in coming forward and noted their ‘courageous’ victim impact statements. ‘I will carry this with me for the rest of my life and will never forgive him,’ wrote one of the men.

In mitigation, the court heard O’Sullivan had grown up in West Cork and joined the army as a cadet where he was an officer for 20 years. 

His previous lawyers said O’Sullivan had served with distinction and had been on one of the first tours of Lebanon. 

His barrister told the court that O’Sullivan was very ashamed of what he had done, and the hurt he had caused.

O’Sullivan was refused an extension of time to appeal the severity of his sentence. He had lodged an appeal approximately 13 weeks late. 

Court of Appeal president Mr Justice George Birmingham, said O’Sullivan was advised in the aftermath of his sentence hearing that an appeal was unlikely to succeed. 

Mr Justice Birmingham said there was a public interest in ‘finality being achieved’. That objective was ‘particularly acute’ for sexual offences where out-of-time appeals were potentially damaging for victims. 

He said courts were presented with victim impact statements daily, which showed how ‘victims find engaging with the criminal justice system very difficult and traumatic’. Victims were entitled to put proceedings behind them and get on with their lives, the judge added. 

Mr Justice Birmingham said no information had been put before the court to suggest an appeal had any real prospect of succeeding. Sitting with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, he refused the application.

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