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12 Aug 2022

Man appeals Portlaoise court judge's direction in Laois hotel sexual assault case

Man appeals Portlaoise court judge's direction in Laois hotel sexual assault

Man appeals direction of Portlaoise's district court judge.

A man convicted of sexually assaulting a woman has launched a High Court challenge seeking to overturn a district court judge's direction that he be included on the sex offenders register.

The action has been brought by John Keady, who last month pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault committed against a female that occurred at the Heritage Hotel Killenard, Portarlington, Co Laois on December 9, 2018.

The offence was prosecuted summarily before Portlaoise District Court.

Keady, who is aged 45 years with an address at Durabhan, Roscam, Galway and who brought €5,000 to court as a token of his remorse for the offence, received a sentence of 10 months imprisonment, which was suspended in its entirety.

The court also directed that Keady be the subject of notification requirements provided for under the 2001 Sex Offenders Act, which is commonly known as the sex offenders register, for a period of five years.

At the High Court, his counsel James Dwyer SC told the court that the notification requirements provided for in the 2001 Act did not apply to his client.

This was because Keady had received a wholly suspended sentence, that his victim was not mentally impaired nor under 17 years of age at the time of the offence counsel said.

The District Court judge had erred in law by holding that the offence committed by Keady was an offence that was the subject of notification requirements under the 2001 Act, counsel said.

The Judge, counsel added, did not have the jurisdiction to make the order directing that Keady be placed on the register.

In his action against the DPP Keady seeks an order quashing the order made by the District Court Judge directing that he be placed on the sex offenders register and is the subject of certain notification requirements,

He also seeks declarations including that the District Court did not have the jurisdiction to direct that he be placed on the sex offenders register.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Charles Meenan. The judge made the matter returnable to a date in April.

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