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Man convicted of sexual assault has 23 character references presented to court



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,393 ✭✭✭✭ elperello

    There is quite a long running debate on the practice.

    References would not be directly saying "we don't believe you" or "that the jury was wrong" but they are controversial.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,711 ✭✭✭ standardg60

    Details are pretty disgusting, i wonder does the defence application to preserve his anonymity due to the effect it may have on his family have anything to do with the fact same family provided character references

  • jesus that's grim reading

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭ vriesmays

    Where's his photo.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,906 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Character references and victim impact statements should be scrapped. Sentences should be based on evidence, not emotions.

    Doesn’t sound like the impressive number of character references made much of a difference, and that the evidence was pretty solid.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 3,911 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Raichu

  • Registered Users Posts: 75,061 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    The character references should be publically accessable for each case.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭ Fritzbox

    Are they not already publicly available? Probably a good reason for that so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75,061 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    As far as I know not, can't see many business owners wanting to give a good word in a sex offence case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭ Fritzbox

    It's not just business owners, it's anybody who knew the defendant very well, surely? Should anybody be penalised for having a good word to say about the defendant?

  • Registered Users Posts: 75,061 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭ Fritzbox

    And presumably that's why the identity of those giving positive character references is not normally made publicly available?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    Ceann comhairle has done same. As has Heather Humphreys for a man regarding his second conviction of animal cruelty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75,061 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    Yes but if they are praising a criminal in order to get a reduced sentence imposed they should be. Their statement can result in someone being released in to the public earlier. They should be shown as supporting this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,569 ✭✭✭✭ Faugheen

    There could be a litany of reasons why this has happened.

    Although he has been identified, there's a possibility that some or all of the character witnesses could lead to the victims being identified, of which they are entitled to anonymity.

    It could also be a case of whoever wrote the article doesn't know who the witnesses are and if they can identify the victims in this case, so they possibly err'ed on the side of caution as the legal consequences are very damaging.

    Just to stress I don't now if this is the case in either scenario but it's just two examples off the top of my head.

    As for whoever said victim impact statements should be banned. Get out of it. The impact of a crime committed to the victim should absolutely play a part in any sentencing.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,318 ✭✭✭✭ seamus

    Seems a bit simplistic.

    For example, a guy steals €10k from his millionaire uncle. He does it because he doesn't believe the uncle will experience any hardship as a result.

    Another guy steals €10k from his aging uncle who has little to his name but his pension. The thief steals the money knowing full well that his uncle cannot afford to lose it and will experience severe hardship as a result.

    Do you feel like this is the same crime? Do you feel like both should be punished equally? And if so, do you think both offenders will be equally rehabilitated by it?

    Intent is key when it comes to sentencing. And in that victim impact statements have a place. In lieu of character references, I feel like giving the offender an opportunity to make a statement could be of benefit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,035 ✭✭✭✭ Boggles

    A probation report was also presented to the court, which stated that he was at low risk of reoffending

    I'd love to know how they came to that conclusion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,566 ✭✭✭ seenitall

    I think the above is a really warped way of looking at crime and punishment. It’s too emotional, too lenient, too “soft” on a criminal. How did it get this way?

    Of course the thief will always think that they are hard done by in life and that the wealthier person can afford to lose out to them by way of theft!! That’s not the point. The point is to send out a clear message that stealing is wrong. That’s it. If you are going to start looking into the thieves’ thought processes in order to look differently at their intent… I just find that disturbing, really. Do you apply that to rape, as well? Shur, the girl has had sex many times already, your honour, why would I not have any right to some of the same? Yes, I can see she’s very upset all right, but doesn’t my honest intent matter here? I wouldn’t have done it to a girl who’d never had sex, I know she would be more traumatised. See how honourable my thought process is! Got to give me some leniency for that!

    It’s ridiculous.

    ETA: the millionaire in your story may be a thousand times more upset and feel violated about having that sum of money stolen than a poorer man might be. So there’s that about victim impact statements.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,839 ✭✭✭✭ listermint

    With regards to character references. Maybe they are public record and are accessible and the journalist didn't publish. I've no idea. But if you are going to bat for someone and you believe there story enough to write these beliefs down and sign it. Then yes it should be public it would weed out the half beliefs and other ones who were just asked to do it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,526 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Utterly Bizzare and actually quite disturbing, 23 character References 😳

    Whilst off topic it's Almost as bizzare as the story that Broke over the weekend re Midlands prison.

    What the he'll is going on 😳

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,906 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    I would expect the court to assess the impact on each aggrieved party without them providing an impact statement. There is no reason to let either off with a lighter sentence because the victim was more prosperous.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,444 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    and how do they assess that impact without reference to the victim themselves?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,906 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

    Indeed shocking because of the severe security risks this situation revealed. Somehow this is not really the focus of the article though, though this isn’t even that surprising any more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,906 ✭✭✭ Jequ0n

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  • Registered Users Posts: 38,444 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    Victims don't have legal representation in court. you don't have a scoobies.