April 2013

Jailed for sex assault on two-year-old girl

19-YEAR-OLD Scottish man who was jailed on Monday for sexually assaulting a two year old toddler in Kerry could be released from jail in a matter of months.

Garry Clyde (19), of no fixed abode, appeared for sentencing at Tralee Circuit Court on Monday having earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault against a female aged under 15 in a laneway and in the bedroom of a house in the mid Kerry area between December 9 2011 and January 9 2012.

Clyde has been in custody since January 2012, which means that with standard time-off for good behaviour he could be released by the end of this year.

Judge Carroll Moran imposed two concurrent five-year sentences on Clyde. Suspending the second half of the sentence, which was backdated to January 2012 when Mr Clyde was first taken into custody following his arrest on suspicion of sexual assaulting the child.

If he receives standard time-off his sentence for good behaviour he could be released by the end of this year.

At an earlier sentencing hearing the court heard that Garry Clyde had met the family of his victim while they were on vacation in the UK. The family agreed to allow Mr Clyde return to Ireland with them and in late 2011 he moved into the family home where he remained as a resident for a short time.

In January 2012, while her mother was bathing her, the victim made a compliant about Garry Clyde touching her private parts.

The family immediately brought the child, who was aged two years and 11 months at the time, for medical examination and removed Garry Clyde from the house.

The medical examination uncovered evidence of injuries to the child’s private parts which were consistent with a sexual assault.

Gardaí subsequently arrested Garry Clyde who initially denied any wrongdoing though later, during the course of an interview with gardaí, he admitted sexually assaulting the child on two occasions, once while taking her for a walk and once in a bedroom of the family’s house.

Judge Moran said MR Clyde’s admissions had been critical to the prosecution and he had to take this into account.

However, he noted the attack on a young child, who was still a baby at the time, was “abhorrent”. He ordered him not to have any contact, either directly or indirectly, with the victim or her family.

Following Monday’s sentence hearing the mother of the victim said her family got no justice adding that the memory of what happened to her daughter would haunt her until she dies.

“He got away lightly,” she said outside the court. “He should have got at least four years. Next year he’ll be free again.”

The woman said the child, now four, still suffered from nightmares and refers to Clyde and what he did to her.

“I don’t think we will ever get over this and we didn’t get justice. The judge said he’d be put on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely but who’s to say he won’t do it again to another innocent child.”