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02 Dec 2021

Serial sex offenders will be put behind bars for longer

Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018 passes through all stages of Oireachtas

Serial sex offenders will be put behind bars for longer

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan & Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran have announced that the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018 has passed all stages in the Oireachtas.

The Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018 has passed through all stages of the Oireachtas.

The Bill, which Independent Alliance Minister of State, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has been working on since he was first elected as a TD for Longford/Westmeath in 2016, will see serial sex offenders put behind bars for longer.

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It also equalises the maximum penalties for incest at 10 years for both male and female offenders.

The Bill amends the Criminal Justice Act 2007 by extending Section 25 to a number of sex offences whereby a convicted sex offender who has a previous conviction for either the same or another scheduled offence must serve at least three-quarters of the maximum sentence for that further offence.

According to Minister Moran, this Bill addresses the category of offender who creates the most revulsion in society – that of the serial sex offender, who ignores all rehabilitation efforts and remains a persistent public danger and menace to women, men and children in society.

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Minister Moran vowed to draft this Bill following the traumatic experiences of a constituent of his, Debbie Cole, who was raped at the age of 19.

Her attacked was jailed for six years. However, he went on to sexually assault three more women in 1997 and was once more jailed again in 2015 for a period of eight years on charges of false imprisonment, assault and making threats to kill a woman.

“These offences compounded the original victim’s psychological harm and seriously affected her well-being, which continues to this day,” Minister Moran said.

Minister Moran thanked his government colleague, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, for his assistance in guiding this Private Members’ Bill through all stages of the Oireachtas.

“I am delighted that this Bill has been passed today and I am heartened by the broad support it has received in the Houses. I believe this is an important measure that needs to be taken.

“I would also like to thank Debbie Cole. Her bravery in raising this issue with me is the reason why we have brought about such an important change to the law," Minister Moran said.

Speaking about the Bill’s passage, Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, TD, said, “I am very pleased that this Bill has now been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas. By introducing presumptive minimum sentencing provisions for repeat sex offenders, we are recognising the impact these devastating crimes have on victims and on society as a whole.”

 Minister of State Moran added, “I am delighted that this Bill has been passed today and I am heartened by the broad support it has received in the Houses. I believe this is an important measure that needs to be taken and I thank Minister Flanagan for having taken forward the proposals introduced by me in a Private Members’ Bill.”

 

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