A Dublin man has been sentenced to 15 years for his role in trying to make a female college student have sex with her male housemates after breaking into their home with a hammer and hacksaw.
Jason Paget (24) had just turned 16 when he and co-accused, Stephen Phelan (26), broke into the Dublin home and demanded ATM cards and personal identification numbers from the three occupants and ordered the woman to have sex with her housemates after she had been made strip naked.
Paget, of Aylward Green, Finglas, was extradited back to Ireland last year after he fled to the United Kingdom in 2003. He pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at a St Alban's Road premises and aggravated burglary and sexual assault of a woman with intent to cause degradation at another Dublin address, all on February 11th, 2003. He has no previous convictions.
Phelan, of Poddle Close, Crumlin, previously had his nine-year sentence for these and other serious crimes, including a vicious knife attack, increased to 13 years on a DPP appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Mr Justice Paul Carney declared Paget a sex offender. He said the “voluntary use of drugs” and a dysfunctional background offered the defendant no mitigation. "The criminality and viciousness of the offence had already been measured by the Court of Criminal Appeal," he said.
Mr Justice Carney suspended the final five years of the sentence having taken into account the Garda evidence that Paget was not the ringleader, his lack of previous convictions, his genuine remorse and his good behaviour since the offence.
Mr Justice Carney ordered that Paget should never have any contact with the victims in the case and he ordered that he undergo five years post-release supervision.
Det Sgt Joe McLoughlin revealed that Phelan, who had 26 previous convictions at the time of the offence, was the main aggressor in the burglaries and sex assault and had cut the female victim on her back from shoulder to waistline during the ordeal.
Det Sgt McLoughlin told Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting (with Lisa Dempsey BL), that Phelan and Paget, who was armed with a bicycle wheel brace, broke into the St Alban's Road premises about 4.30am on February 11, 2003, threatened to “knife” the three male occupants, ordered them into the kitchen and ransacked the home.
The pair took a €300 mini-disc player, a laptop worth €750, a games console and €300 of games in the raid, which lasted between 30 minutes to an hour.
The raiders eventually called a taxi to Blessington and left.
Det Sgt McLoughlin said Paget was subsequently arrested and identified by his victims in an identity parade. He initially denied all offences in interview but later admitted he had broken into a premises with another “fella”.
He wouldn’t name his accomplice, denied he had inflicted any knife wounds on the victims and denied he had ordered a man and woman to strip naked and have sex.
Det Sgt McLoughlin said Paget took a bench warrant at the Children Court in 2003 and was extradited to Ireland in January last year.
He said Paget, a father-of-two, offered to “face up” to the burglary charges but had made no admissions to the aggravated sexual assault.
He eventually pleaded guilty to all three charges on his trial date earlier this year.
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