A sex offender who was before Athy District Court for failing to notify gardai with his new address was jailed for ten months.
William Connors, with an address listed as 49 Moatview, Kilmead, Athy failed to notify gardai of his new address in Maynooth on August 26, 2012 last.
Sgt Thomas Harte of Athy Garda Station told the court that the defendant was placed on the sex offenders registrar on April 11, 2003 indefinitely.
When the defendant moved, however, he did not inform gardai of his new whereabouts – which he was supposed to do – and gardai had been unable to locate him for a year.
The court heard that the defendant had held a couple against their will in the woods, and sexually assaulted a female in front of her companion.
“I know he is now living in Thurles,” said Sgt Harte.
“There was an obligation on him to notify gardai within seven days of a change of address.
“It took about a year to track him down, and he was then in Maynooth. I would have concerns about this man and the safety of others.”
His solicitor argued that the defendant thought after ten years that he was no longer obliged to notify the gardai.
“He is well aware that he is on it for life now,” he said.
He added that his client, who has 14 previous convictions, had a wife and eight children and was unemployed.
Judge Desmond Zaidan said the defendant had seriously molested a woman in front of her friend or partner.
“You don’t get worse than that under the act,” he said.
“For somebody to have the mindframe to do what he did is very serious. I won’t accept that it was a mistake. I am not punishing you for what you’ve done but for the breach of the sex offenders register, which is there for a specific purpose to protect the public from convicted sex offenders.
“You are in contempt of a court order. You knew excatly what you were doing and it is a credit to Sgt Harte that he tried to keep an eye on you and locate you. There is no question that you are a threat.”
The defendant was also before the court on allegations of theft from the Heritage Centre, Emily Sq in Athy on February, 8, 2013 and two house burglaries on February, 3 and February 8, 2013.
Judge Desmond Zaidan refused jurisdiction for these charges.
His case was referred to the next sitting of the Circuit Criminal Court on Febuary, 25 next.