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Sasko Lazarov/
Court of Appeal

GAA coach who repeatedly raped teenager has prison sentence increased by four years

The three-judge Court of Appeal had previously found that the sentence handed to the now 43-year-old at the Central Criminal Court was unduly lenient.

A GAA COACH who “destroyed” a boy’s life through repeated rapes, physical abuse and humiliation followed by three years of harassment has had his nine-year prison sentence increased to 13 years by the Court of Appeal.

The three-judge court had previously found that the sentence handed to the now 43-year-old at the Central Criminal Court was unduly lenient.

At a hearing today, Ms Justice Tara Burns quashed the original sentence and resentenced the defendant to 14 years and six months with the final 18 months suspended.

She said the sentencing judge had failed to properly take into account the “global seriousness” of the two years of repeated sexual offending aggravated by a series of humiliating physical assaults and a campaign of harassment.

Ms Justice Burns described the offending as “unusual, shocking and extremely disturbing”.

She added: “The injured party, a child for nearly all the offending, and a young man attempting to make his way in the world at the conclusion of the offending, was treated in a manner devoid of humanity, morality and respect.”

The judge noted that the defendant had been like a parent to his victim before the abuse began. The offender knew of his victim’s difficult family life, living with an alcoholic parent.

When the boy was aged 12 the defendant gave him a job doing administrative work related to his position as a newspaper reporter.

When the boy was 13 the defendant, then aged in his mid-20s, began sexually abusing him with increasing frequency, sometimes as often as twice a day.

During a shopping trip to Dublin, they stayed at a hotel overnight where the boy was subjected to sexual assault and oral rape.

On one occasion the abuser assaulted his victim when he refused to engage in sexual activity in a summer camp dressing room and on another occasion when some girls showed an interest in the victim, his abuser pulled his hair, kicked him and spat at him.

There were further assaults in public and on one occasion the offender locked his victim in an office where he beat him up, smashed his phone, punched him in the testicles and sexually abused him. The ordeal lasted for two to three hours.

The sexual abuse ceased in September 2006 but the offender continued calling his victim and sending abusive, threatening and bullying texts and emails.

When the victim had moved to a different location to attend college, the offender tracked him down. On one occasion he sent an email, saying: “You think this is over. It’s only f**king starting. This will never be over until one of us is dead.”


Ms Justice Burns found that the sentencing judge did not adequately take into account the “global seriousness” of all of the offending.

She said the public beatings that the victim suffered were humiliating and degrading and the offending was exacerbated by the three-year campaign of harassment, the planned system of grooming and the abuse of power.

The appeal court put the offending in the most serious category, carrying a headline sentence of 17 years on the count of oral rape. The court reduced that by two and a half years after considering mitigating factors and suspended the final 18 months on condition that the offender engage with probation services.

The sentence will run concurrently with those imposed by the trial judge in relation to the sexual assaults, false imprisonment and attempted anal rape.

The Central Criminal Court heard the man had been extradited from the US to face the charges.

On the day he was due to go on trial, he entered guilty pleas in relation to 15 counts for oral rape, attempted anal rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment, assault causing harm and criminal damage.

The court heard evidence of further sexual assaults during a trip to London but these counts were dropped as they had taken place outside the jurisdiction.

At the Central Criminal Court in December 2021, the man was sentenced to 10.5 years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Mr Justice Michael MacGrath.