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Family's disgust at prison term as 89-year-old’s sex attacker will be out in just two years

'If she had been a politician's mother, do you think he'd be walking out of jail in 19 months time?'
Shane Smith sexually attacked the pensioner and beat a man with a shovel and a Stanley knife

Shane Smith sexually attacked the pensioner and beat a man with a shovel and a Stanley knife

Patrick O'Connell

The family of an 89-year-old woman who sex fiend Shane Smith 'had it in mind to rape' have spoken of their 'disgust' he is to be released from prison in less than two years' time.

Smith (32), of Ballyjamesduff, Cavan, had his jail sentence increased from three years and nine months to six years by the Court of Appeal last week after it found Cavan Circuit Court's original sentence for sexually assaulting the pensioner had 'been too low.'

The new six-year sentence also covers a separate attack during which Smith attacked his sister's boyfriend with a shovel and a Stanley knife, cutting him so badly he required 52 stitches to his face.

In the wake of the new sentence, the pensioner's family had believed Smyth would stay in custody until 2025.

However, they were left heartbroken and dismayed when contacted by the Irish Prison Service later in the week to be told Smyth's new release date falls in late 2023.

"It's sickening," the woman's nephew this week told the Sunday World.

"That sentence is for two cases - not just for what he did to my aunt but also for what he did to that young fella who was left needing 52 stitches when he cut him up with a Stanley knife.

"As I told our solicitor that day in court, if he [Smith] had done that to a guard or a politician, then he would have went away for 20 years.

"And it's the same with my aunt.

"If she had been a politician's mother, do you think he'd be walking out of jail in 19 months time?

"How does it make sense that he will do only four and a half years for breaking into a pensioner's home and trying to rape her and cutting up a young fella's face with a Stanley knife and beating him with a shovel?

"This is the second time we have been let down by the courts. And definitely it is the courts that are letting us down. It's not the guards, they done their job.

"Three judges sitting in that court in Dublin and between the three of them, in my opinion, all they've given him is a slap on the wrist.

"It's not justice. If you sexually assault and intend to rape somebody, it should be a proper sentence regardless of who the victim is.

"If you attack someone with a shovel and cut them up with a Stanley knife and then leave them for dead, that deserves a proper sentence.

"What's the point of having a law in the country if people can get away so lightly with things like this?"

Background reports have indicated that Smith is at "high risk of sexual re-conviction" once he gets out of prison.

And the pensioner's nephew said their aunt continues to live in terror that Smith will come back and finish her off when he gets out of prison.

"If she knew in the morning when he was getting out of prison, she'd take a heart attack," he said.

"It would kill her. She thinks he's in jail for life and she will never see him again. The Court of Appeal was meant to fix the sentence but this is just as bad!

"The man's a living danger, anyone who could do that to an old person, he's stone bad. To break into the home of an 85-year-old woman to rape her, the man should have been castrated.

"That woman is afraid to leave her house to go to mass in the morning and she used to go to mass every single day."

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