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Dublin community in fear as serial sex beast returns

David Radford
David Radford

A SERIAL sex attacker has sparked terror after returning to the same West Dublin suburb where he attacked a 15-year-old girl, after serving less than two years in prison.

Predator David Radford (21) – who committed his first sexual assault when he was just 14 – returned to Tallaght immediately following his release from the Midlands Prison on Tuesday.

His return to the area, where he is understood to be living in flats near a third-level college, has led to fears that women in the community are now at risk.

A social media campaign has been launched to warn local women about Radford’s location and details.

 

Two years ago Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard how Radford, who was then 19, had tried to drag a 15-year-old girl into a cul-de-sac after telling her he wanted her and her body. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years. 

Radford, who is originally from Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham, was arrested after Gardaí nominated him as a suspect having viewed CCTV footage from the area. 

He could be seen following the girl from her Luas stop before he approached her asking directions to a main road.

Radford denied the allegation in interviews with gardaí, but was re-arrested in January 2015, two months after the attack, when his DNA was found.

Radford pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault of a child on November 12, 2014.

His 15 previous convictions include three for sexually assaulting women in random attacks, dating back to April 2010 when he was 14 years old. 

Garda Michael Noctor told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that the teenager noticed Radford had his hand down the front of his pants as he walked alongside her when she was on her way home that evening. 

He asked her did she have a boyfriend before he grabbed her from behind and pushed her towards a cul-de-sac. She was screaming at him and eventually managed to get away.

A friend who she happened to meet brought her home and Gardaí were alerted. The teenager was able to give a good description of her attacker.

Ms Rowland read from the victim impact report, in which the teenager stated that she had nightmares every night since the attack and woke up screaming for her mother, “just as I screamed for her that night”.

She said she didn’t want to sleep because she could only see Radford’s face. 

She said she lost herself after the attack and wanted to find herself again. She felt numb, life was a blur and she thought she would never be the same person again. 

She said she felt “cut to the bone” and believed it would never be undone, but added that through her family’s “loving support” she had found ways to cope. 

Judge Martin Nolan noted that Radford claimed to have no memory of the attack because he was on headshop drugs, but the judge said that fact “does not lessen his culpability”.

He said the impact the attack had on the victim was “pretty reasonable and to be expected”. 

The judge accepted that Radford has expressed remorse, but said he had history of offending in a similar way. Judge Nolan suspended the last 12 months of the three-and-a-half year sentence on strict conditions. 

Kieran Kelly BL, defending, said his client wished to apologise for his actions and accepted that Radford had a propensity to commit this type of crime.