Louth TD describes child sex crimes as 'heinous'

"Sentences have been too lenient on crimes against children" - Breathnach

Tamara O'Connell

Reporter:

Tamara O'Connell

Bill to double jail time for child sex offenders is "welcome measure"

A LOUTH TD has said a Fianna Fáil Bill that would increase jail time for child sex offenders from seven years to 15 for attacks will act as a “stronger deterrent”.

The proposals were introduced in the Dáil yesterday (Tuesday, November 14) and need cross-party support to become law.

“I believe that the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2017 is a very welcome measure in introducing a stronger deterrent to deal with perpetrators who abuse children,” said Louth Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach.

“I welcome the increased penalties and jail terms for those convicted of these heinous crimes, and also the increased jail term for those convicted of abuse of children up to 17 years of age.

“There is a correctly held belief that sentences have been too lenient on crimes against children, particularly those children between the ages of 15 and 17 years.”

Mr Breathnach added: “It is my personal belief that we also need to reference the danger post Brexit, whereby we must ensure a sharing of information between the PSNI and An Garda Siochána particularly in the circumstances of border smuggling including people trafficking by undesirables.

“I and others raised this point at a conference held in Newry last Friday entitled 'It's Our Brexit Too' where stakeholders and children and young people from North and South had their views heard.

“We need to ensure that we have systems in place as a matter of urgency to ensure that children are fully protected from child trafficking, child abduction and sexual exploitation.”