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Man sentenced to 17 years in jail for false imprisonment of 11-year-old girl

Michael Martin appeared in Portlaoise Circuit Court today.

A MAN HAS been sentenced to 17 years in jail for abducting and falsely imprisoning a young girl in Laois.

Michael Martin appeared at Portlaoise Circuit Court today. RTÉ reports that four years of the sentence is to be suspended. He had pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning the girl on a country road in Cullahill in Co Laois on 4 March this year.

The 36-year-old man, originally from Dublin but with an address in Waterford had 92 previous convictions, including one for false imprisonment.

Last week, the court heard how the victim’s 10-year-old brother saved her from further harm.

His heroic actions saw him holding onto Martin’s moving jeep after the 36-year-old had taken her. Martin became distracted and the girl saw a chance to escape.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie after the hearing, local Fine Gael councillor John King said of the young boy, “Certainly he is a great credit and he is a hero.”

In a victim impact statement, the children’s father said his daughter had been “permanently affected in a negative way” and that her innocence had been stolen.

More: Court hears about heroic actions of 10-year-old who saved his sister from abduction 

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