Man who raped two young girls in Athlone has sentence appeal dismissed

The girls were just six and nine when they were abducted in 2013

Athlone, rape, birthday party, Westmeath, man, appeal, dismissed, life sentences

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

An appeal against the life sentence handed down to a man who raped two girls after luring them from a party in Athlone has been dismissed.

The girls, who were just six and nine years of age when they were abducted in September 2013, managed to escape through a window in his flat.

At the man's sentence hearing last year, the late Mr Justice Paul Carney decided not to go over the facts of the case again - telling the packed court he would find it "too upsetting" to do so.

The 32-year-old lured them back to his flat by pretending he had a six-year-old daughter who was too shy to come out and play.

He threatened to kill their parents and repeatedly raped them during a terrifying ordeal that lasted 20 minutes.

He was sentenced to life in prison - but his lawyers argued that while this was the "darkest of cases", his co-operation and early pleas should have been given more credit.

In dismissing his appeal today Mr Justice George Birmingham said that while the majority of maximum sentences handed down for rape convictions involved systematic abuse by a person in authority, the facts of this case were exceptional and merited the concurrent life sentences handed down.

Newstalk.com's courts correspondent Frank Greaney explained the appeal to Lunchtime.