Serial child rapist O'Brien begins jail sentence

Mr Justice Paul Carney has revoked bail in the case of 72-year-old child rapist Patrick O'Brien, who abused his daughter for a decade.

The sentencing judge has admitted he was wrong and insensitive to let O'Brien walk free from Dublin’s Central Criminal Court on Monday.

His three-year jail term starts now, Mr Justice Carney ruled. O'Brien was sentenced to 12 years in jail, with nine years suspended.

"I express Ms Doyle my profound regret for the distress that has been caused to her in this case," the judge said.

He told the court he was prepared to accept his sentencing on Monday had been dealt with in a procedurally confused manner at the very least.

He said he was fully aware of the gravity of the case but that he had a mandatory obligation to take account of the health situation of the accused, who is on constant oxygen and under the care of nine consultants.

Ms Doyle stayed in the court room and watched until her father was led away using a zimmer frame to holding cells by prison officers.

Ms Doyle, from Bray, Co Wicklow, was raped once a week for a decade from the age of eight. Her brutal ordeal began on the night before her First Holy Communion in 1973 and continued to 1982.

O’Brien, also from Bray, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of the rape and indecent assault of his daughter.

Outside the court, Ms Doyle said she felt finally vindicated and accepted Judge Carney’s regret in how the sentencing and bail conditions had been handled.

“I was overwhelmed by the support, the media support, the people of Bray,” she said.

“It has been amazing.

“They picked me up and carried me the last four days, like my children and my family.”

Judge Carney ordered that O'Brien begin to serve three years of the 12-year sentence immediately.

Ms Doyle also appealed to her father that as a sign of remorse he should not appeal against the jail term.

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