May 2010

Child rapist’s return to estate shocks residents

Derek Sweeney

NEIGHBOURS of a convicted child rapist have expressed concern about his shock return home to a Lusk estate after serving just half of a 10 year prison sentence.

Derek Sweeney from Orlynn Park in Lusk went to jail in 2005 for the rape and sexual assault of a young girl and the sexual assault of her sister. The pair were aged just nine and 10 when the offences took place.

Sweeney received a 10year sentence for his crimes and had the last three years of the sentence suspended.

But just five years after his conviction, Sweeney is a free man again and his neighbours have been shocked to find the convicted rapist returning to Orlynn Park to live.

It is understood that Sweeney has been placed on the sex offenders register since his release and will have to sign in with local gardaí and inform them of any change of address.

A resident of the estate said that since his return, Sweeney had been ‘hiding’ behind drawn blinds at his home.

The concerned neighbour said Sweeney’s crimes were ‘sickening’ and that a number of residents had expressed shock at his early release and return to Lusk.

After a seven-day jury trial, Sweeney was convicted on three rape charges and 21 counts of sexual assault in 2005 after his trial heard the sordid details of his systematic abuse of the young girls which involved fondling their genitalia and taking nude pictures of them.

His young victims told the trial that they were forced to watch Sweeney having sex in his back garden and in a wooded area in the Phoenix Park.

Following his conviction, Sweeney dragged his young victims and their family through a three-year legal wrangle as he tried to defend a civil case against him but it was eventually settled.