Judge critical of DPP's lack of reasons


A High Court judge has said it was “extremely hurtful” for a brother and sister who were systematically sexually abused by a neighbour when the DPP did not give reasons for not prosecuting their abuser.

Mr Justice Michael Moriarty was awarding the brother €210,000 and the sister €140,000 in damages for the abuse inflicted on them when they were still at primary school.

Stressing that he was not making observations behind the DPP’s back, Mr Justice Moriarty said there was no doubt from the evidence the pair and their family were demoralised and bewildered when it was indicated no prosecution was to be brought and, according to practice, no reason was given.

Legal reasons

There may have been strong and compelling legal reasons why the DPP did not prosecute but it was very hurtful for the family.

The High Court had heard the brother and sister had made statements to the Garda a number of years ago but the DPP decided not to bring a prosecution.

The judge said yesterday he sat in the Court of Criminal Appeal and had heard cases “of lesser severity”.

Not being given a reason for not bringing a prosecution may have been a substantial factor why the brother and sister went to the trouble, expense and trauma of bringing the proceedings in the High Court, he said.

The girl was aged seven and the boy 10 when the abuse started in the late 1990s- early 2000s. The action was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Mr Justice Moriarty said damages must be substantial and reflect the “hideous experience” suffered.