A MAN on the Sex Offenders’ Register in Northern Ireland who moved to Kildare without informing the gardaí as required under law, was sentenced to two months in prison at Naas court last week.
Investigating officer Sergeant Ralph Holmes made a point of saying that of the defendant’s 117 previous convictions “just one was a sexual offence”, for which he was sentenced to four months in prison in 2017, and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for a total of seven years.
As the man is serving an unrelated sentence for criminal damage in Leitrim with a release date of 14 December, this latest conviction would now not add to his prison time.
The sergeant, whose job it is to monitor the Sex Offenders’ Register in the District, became aware of the man being in Kildare on 10 January, following his arrival in the county the previous October at a given address.
Sgt Holmes told Naas District Court how he had interviewed the man at a Kildare Garda Station by appointment before charging him.
“It doesn’t flag up automatically, the onus is on the offender under the Act to make himself known,” said Sgt Holmes.
“And while it is still a breach, it’s just a technical breach, and he would’ve assumed it was automatic,” conceded the sergeant.
“There have been no further offences of this nature since 2017, he didn’t deny who he was, or that he was on a Sex Offenders’ Register, and was very co-operative,” noted the sergeant.
“He’s now on the Register down here,” he confirmed.
Of the 117 previous convictions, 33 were from NI, while the rest were in the Republic – mostly for road traffic offences, and public order matters – at addresses in Galway, Leitrim, and Kildare.
Judge Desmond Zaidan accepted the evidence, and noted the maximum fine for an offence like this was €2,500.
“Had I known, I would’ve,” said the man from the dock.
“Has he come to garda attention in the last three years?” asked the judge.
“Not for sexual offences,” confirmed the sergeant.
“Two months in custody, from today, and I’ll set his bond at €200 cash,” said the judge, offering formal leave for appeal.
“Thank you, judge,” said the defendant, as he was led back to his prison.