Two local men sentenced for sexual assaults on young girls

Two local men have been jailed this week - in separate cases - for serious sexual assaults against young girls.John Gaynor, of 5 St. Patrick's Terrace, Edgeworthstown, a 59 year old school bus driver, was convicted and sentence to a year in jail for two counts of sexual assault on an eleven year old girl on May 13 of last year.The other man, a former member of the Defence Forces, not named to protect the identity of his victim, received three years' imprisonment after being found guilty of nine counts of sexual assault against the daughter of his partner. The girl was aged between nine and eleven while the offences were taking place.Judge Anthony Kennedy heard John Gaynor pleaded guilty to both the charges against him, which took place while on a school run to a primary school in Westmeath. The court was told how the defendant touched the girl under her clothing.Arrested and brought, on June 13 2009, to Mullingar Garda Station, he initially denied the allegations, but later admitted them during an interview with Detective Sergeant Brian Willoughby.The court was told that the defendant said to the child, "This will be our secret".A Victim Impact Statement revealed that the incident had had a "very devastating effect" on the child's family.Det. Sgt. Willoughby said that it was the belief of the Gardaí that the attack was premeditated.Defence for the accused said however that in a psychiatrist's report on Mr. Gaynor, it was his belief that it was "an impulsive act by a sexually frustrated man".Det. Sgt. Willoughby rejected the claim that it was impulsive, and went on to say that from speaking with the child's parents, they felt betrayed by Mr. Gaynor, who was known to them.When the accused took the stand, he apologised for what he had done saying "I just hate myself for what I've done.continued on page 4

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