Farmer gets six years for rape


A Kildare farmer who raped and sexually abused his young nephew has been jailed for six years by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court.

Joseph Dempsey (59), of Togereen, Monasterevin, Co Kildare, was found guilty by a jury last April on all 16 charges he faced which comprised one count of anal rape and 15 of indecent assault on his nephew on various dates between 1984 and 1993.

His now 23-year-old victim, who told the jury that his uncle raped him in a bedroom in his house when he was 12, wanted Dempsey's identity published in the media and waived his right to anonymity.

Mr Justice Carney granted Dempsey leave to appeal on the basis of a question posed by the foreman of the jury in open court shortly before it delivered its 11-1 majority guilty verdicts on all charges. He allowed Dempsey to remain free on continuing bail pending his appeal.

Mr Justice Carney said he was sure the question had been about the inability of its jury of seven women and five men to reach a unanimous verdict. However, the foreman had used the words "reasonable doubt" in his phrasing of the question.

"An unfortunate choice of words," Mr Justice Carney said, on the basis of which he said, he was giving Dempsey the leave to appeal "with considerable misgivings".