A LIMERICKMAN who raped a virgin French student in the city 11 years ago has avoided an immediate jail term after failing to lodge his new address with gardai.
Francis Goggin, 43, received a seven-month prison sentence, which Judge Eugene O’Kelly suspended for two years on his good behaviour.
In early 2005, Goggin was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of kidnapping, raping and committing aggravated sexual assault on the then 19-year-old French woman, on her last night here having completed an English language course.
At the time, he was charged with false imprisonment, anal and vaginal rape, aggravated sexual assault and assault causing harm to her between 7pm on August 15 and 1am on August 16, 2003
The jury found Goggin not guilty of anally raping the woman but guilty of the four other charges.
He was jailed for eight years in January 2005, but had been back living in Limerick since 2012.
At Limerick District Court, Judge O’Kelly warned Goggin and other sex offenders that it is their responsibility to provide gardai with details of a new address, under the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Act, 2001.
The court heard from Garda Tom Dilleen that in early April this year he made enquiries regarding the whereabouts of Goggin, as he believed he had left his previous address at flat No 3, 19 O’Curry Street in the city but failed to inform Henry Street station.
Garda Dilleen made contact with the defendant’s mother in Lee Estate, and she gave him her son’s phone number.
On May 5 this year, he was finally apprehended by gardai on the South Circular Road at 9.10pm whilst out walking with a female friend.
When gardai asked him his address, he provided three addresses, all beginning with No 5.
The third address proved to be his current address, while the first house had been knocked under the Regeneration programme and the second house did not exist, the court was told.
However, solicitor Ted McCarthy said his client had lived at these locations in the past, and maintained that gardai already had his new address at Laurels Villas, South Circular Road, as he had received a summons on another matter.
Mr McCarthy said his client maintained that he had called into Henry Street station and spoke to a garda regarding his address.
However, there was no record of this in the Pulse system.
Taking to the stand, the defendant said he had no issue with notifying gardai of his new address, and had moved towards the end of 2012 as he was informed his flat was being sold.
Garda Dilleen explained to the court that he was obliged to meet him twice a year to see if his circumstances had changed, regarding his address, employment and relationship status.
Judge O’Kelly said the integrity of the sex offenders’ register is dependent on sex offenders whereabouts being known to gardai, and said the responsibility lies clearly with the offender to notify them.
“It is not up to gardai to go around chasing after your client to see where he’s residing,” he said.
He said Goggin adopted a “casual approach” and was “evasive” to gardai when he was stopped.
The defendant, who was 17 previous convictions, most recently for drugs, faced a penalty of €1,500 on this matter, or a maximum jail sentence of one year.
He imposed a seven month prison sentence, suspended for two years on his own bond of €500.