Rapist sent to jail as judge revokes 'inappropriate' bail


Patrick O’Brien's bail following his conviction for raping his daughter Fiona Doyle over a 10-year period has been revoked by Mr Justice Paul Carney.

The sentencing judge today admitted he was wrong and insensitive to let the 72-year-old walk free from Dublin’s Central Criminal Court on Monday. O’Brien’s jail term, including nine years suspended, starts now, the judge ruled.

He said he had no hesitation in expressing his “profound regret” to Ms Doyle, who had waived her right to anonymity, for the distress caused to her in this case.

His decision earlier this week to sentence O'Brien to 12 years in jail, with nine suspended, and then grant bail pending an appeal, provoked strong reaction. When imposing the sentence, Mr Justice Carney had cited the defendant’s poor health.

O’Brien, of Old Court Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow had pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 16 charges of the rape and indecent assault of Fiona Doyle at Mackintosh Park, Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.

The victim had told the court that the sexual abuse, which began on the night before her First Holy Communion, became so routine that she felt it was as frequent as “having dinner”.

Today, Brendan Grehan SC, prosecuting, told the court the judge was wrong to grant O’Brien leave to appeal because the law had changed in 2010 and the court no longer had that power.

After hearing Mr Grehan, Mr Justice Carney told the court: “The procedure I adopted was not appropriate. It was insensitive. I have absolutely no doubt or hesitation in saying that.”

Most Discussed