December 2017

Judge tells paedophile:  “There is no cure for paedophilia”

A 47-year-old Irish man, described by a judge as a dangerous paedophile, has been jailed for 18 years for raping and abusing children.

Peter Sharkey, of Mucknow Street, Castleblayney in Co Monaghan, and formerly of Parnell Park in Dundalk, sexually abused six children and raped two of them.

The abuse went on for 28 years, until one of the victims went to gardaí in April 2015.

Sharkey pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault on dates between 1987 and 1990, six counts of sexual assault between 1997 and 2015 and two counts of rape.

The offences occurred at addresses in Co Louth.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy paid tribute to the victims. He said the trigger point occurred when one of the victims, who is now 19, went to gardaí in April 2015 to report that she had been raped.

This led to the five other victims coming forward to report what Judge McCarthy described as “extremely serious” abuse.

The Judge said that while the victims were isolated while the abuse was happening, he hoped they would have some comfort in realising that together, they brought him to justice.

Mr Justice McCarthy said comments made by several of the complainants in their victim impact statements made for very striking reading.

He said the court saw time and time again victims saying they had little confidence and self-esteem and never told anyone of their secret.

One victim told the court the man stole a piece of her soul and she was in court to reclaim it.

Another female told court the man had left her in a constant state of fear.

A third young female said she had been robbed of her childhood.

The judge said the offending was a gross breach of trust.

He said he had looked at sentencing in the round, to ensure it was not disproportionate as there were multiple victims in this case.

The judge said there was no cure for paedophilia and this was a case where there was no alternative but to conclude this man was a paedophile of the dangerous kind.

Mr Justice McCarthy said the man had shown contrition at a late stage but he said the first step towards rehabilitation was acknowledging guilt.

He imposed a range of sentences, some of them consecutive, meaning the man will be jailed for 18 years.

He said the sentences had to be consecutive so that there was punishment for the wrong done to each victim.

He directed that the defendant undergo supervision by the probation services for a period of five years upon release and ordered that his name be entered onto the sex offenders register.