Man raped another girl while on bail for sexual abuse of nieces, court told

Judge imposes further 10-year sentence, with final six years suspended

Mr Justice White imposed strict conditions on the suspended portion of the 10-year sentence. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Mr Justice White imposed strict conditions on the suspended portion of the 10-year sentence. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

 

A Longford man serving 13 years for sexually abusing four of his nieces was on bail for these offences when he raped another child, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

William Mannion (50) of Legan, Co Longford, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to two counts each of rape and anal rape of the child on dates between May 2013 to January 2017, when she was aged from nine to 12 years old.

On Friday, Mr Justice Michael White said he must impose a custodial element to run consecutively to the 13 years Mannion is already serving, but with a substantial portion suspended.

He imposed a 10-year sentence with the final six years suspended on this case.

A local sergeant told Garrett Baker BL, prosecuting, that two of Mannion’s family members had noticed him around the child in this case, at an outdoor location in Co Longford. This was after the last time he raped the girl.

The family members saw him running away from the child and the court heard he was on bail at the time for abusing four of his nieces. One of his bail conditions was that he stay away from children.

Mannion was sentenced to 13 years in May 2017 for sexually abusing his nieces.

He had pleaded guilty to seven charges, including three of anal rape and one sexual assault of one niece on dates between June and August 2006, when she was seven years old.

He also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her older sister three years previously, when she was also aged seven; and two charges each of sexually assaulting their then nine-year-old and 16-year-old cousins on dates between October 2001 and June 2010.

The local sergeant told Mr Baker that in the most recent offences, Mannion had met up with the child as she walked her dog and took her behind a wall at an external location. He kissed and groped her here, before bringing her to another location nearby and raping her.

She told a relative about this and then made a statement to gardaí, in which she revealed that Mannion had raped her on three other occasions.

The sergeant told Mr Baker that Mannion accepted his behaviour was “all wrong”. The court heard he was due to go on trial for sexually abusing his nieces a week and a half after his arrest for the recent crimes.

Mannion described himself as “a bit of a loner” and said his offences didn’t “feel normal”. He accepted everything the child had said in her statement and acknowledged that she had “roared” in pain on one occasion of anal rape.

The sergeant said Mannion has 16 previous convictions, including the 13 years for previous sexual offending, an assault from a family row and burglaries going back to the 1980s and 1990s. The sergeant agreed with Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, that her client made early admissions and was at the bottom one percent of intellectual functioning.

He agreed with Ms Gearty that Mannion had told him he had no friends and found it easier to talk to children. He further agreed Mannion had limited employment history and had suicidal ideation.

Mr Justice White imposed strict conditions on the suspended portion of the 10-year sentence.

He said Mannion must not reside where there is a child under the age of 18 or have any unsupervised contact with a child under 18 without prior approval by his probation officer and the local child protection agency.