Calls For Sentencing Guidelines For Rape

A Progressive Democrat TD is demanding the introduction of sentencing guidelines for sexual offences. Fine Gael has already called for action on the issue. Backbench TD Mae Sexton claimed that minimum mandatory sentences must be laid down after a man was convicted of rape and received a suspended sentence yesterday.

Adam Keane from Daragh in Co Clare was convicted at the Central Criminal Court yesterday. The victim, Mary Shannon, waived her right to anonymity to plead with the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the three-year suspended sentence handed down to Keane.

Fine Gael has said this case will result in fewer women reporting rape then ever before. Ms Sexton agreed and said that the Oireachtas and the Government had a responsibility to protect victims of serious sexual assault.

Ms Sexton has demanded the clampdown on avoiding minimum mandatory sentences in the new Criminal Justice Bill is extended to cover, rape, sexual offences and any offences that harm the person.

The Longford Westmeath TD has said that if such an amendment cannot be made, she wants a specific bill drafted to introduce mandatory sentencing for rape.