December 1998

`Evil’ traveller jailed for rape

A MAN was jailed in Eire yesterday for raping a 13-year-old itinerant girl who later travelled to England for an abortion.

The judge at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said Simon McGinley, 25, also a member of the travelling community, had not only violated an innocent girl – known in the hearing as “Miss C” – but his offence had led to the death of the victim’s unborn child.

Jailing him for 12 years – the last four years of the sentence suspended – Mr Justice John Quirke said: “You are not a demon, though some less responsible sections of the media have attempted to demonise you.

“You are a human being who did a dreadful evil thing which has left this young woman heavily psychologically scarred for the rest of her life.”

Thirteen months ago the Irish High Court upheld orders allowing the girl to travel to Britain for an abortion after hearing there was a substantial risk to her life if the pregnancy continued.