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dismissed Victim speaks of relief as paedo who raped her when she was a schoolgirl loses appeal

John Giltrap (61) was found guilty on 20 of rape. The victim was aged between 10 and 15 when the offences took place

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John Giltrap

John Giltrap

John Giltrap

A woman who was raped 20 times by her sister’s partner when she was a schoolgirl has told of her relief after her tormentor’s appeal against his conviction was dismissed.

John Giltrap (61), of Termonbarry, Hospital Hill, Bunclody, Co Wexford, had pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of raping Caroline Kavanagh at various locations in Bunclody between December 1978 and March 1982. 

In December 2020, however, a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Kilkenny found him guilty on 20 of the charges and he was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment on each count by Mr Justice Michael McGrath.

The judge ordered the terms to run concurrently. 

Ms Kavanagh was aged between 10 and 15 when the offences took place.

Giltrap later appealed the conviction on the grounds that the verdict of the jury following the eight-day trial was “perverse” and was “contrary to the weight of evidence”. 

The Court of Appeal, however, dismissed the appeal on Thursday as Ms Kavanagh sat in the public gallery with friends and supporters.

Delivering the judgement, Mr Justice John Edwards, sitting with Mr Justice George Birmingham, presiding, and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, said the court “had no hesitation in rejecting the appeal”.

Mr Justice Edwards added that there “was no evidence to suggest any speculation on behalf of the jury” when the appellant was originally convicted of the rape charges.

Speaking outside court, Ms Kavanagh said she was “happy he [Giltrap] has lost the appeal”.

“We will have to see what happens now,” she added, referring to plans by Giltrap’s lawyers to appeal the length of sentence.

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