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Prison escort Convicted child predator John Rath released back on to streets

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John Rath, from Co. Cork, leaving Arbour Hill Prison, on Friday 6th November 2020.

John Rath, from Co. Cork, leaving Arbour Hill Prison, on Friday 6th November 2020.

John Rath, from Co. Cork, leaving Arbour Hill Prison, on Friday 6th November 2020.

THIS is the moment former army sergeant and convicted child predator John Rath was released back on to our streets.

The Cork paedophile was given a prison escort into Dublin city from Arbour Hill prison shortly before noon on Friday morning.

But the ruse was in vain and we captured a clear image of Rath for the first time since he was arrested and prosecuted over a horrific four-year campaign of abuse against a young Cork boy whom he began abusing when the boy was 12 years old.

In November of 2017, the beast from Innishmore Park in Ballincollig, Co. Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to eight sample counts from a total of 20 charges that he sexually assaulted the boy at various locations in Cork and elsewhere between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008.

Det Garda Rory McGrath said Rath, a married man and former sergeant in the Defence Forces, readily admitted the abuse; pleading guilty to the offences before the case could go to trial.

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06/11/20 PHOTO SHOWS: John Rath, from Ballincollig, Co. Cork, leaving Arbour Hill Prison, on Friday 6th November 2020. PIC: Conor Ó Mearáin

06/11/20 PHOTO SHOWS: John Rath, from Ballincollig, Co. Cork, leaving Arbour Hill Prison, on Friday 6th November 2020. PIC: Conor Ó Mearáin

06/11/20 PHOTO SHOWS: John Rath, from Ballincollig, Co. Cork, leaving Arbour Hill Prison, on Friday 6th November 2020. PIC: Conor Ó Mearáin

Det Gda McGrath said Rath had befriended the boy and his family to the extent that he used to call to their house at a time when he was abusing the boy.

The abuse involved oral sex and masturbation and took place from when the boy was aged 12 until he was 17.

The victim, who is now in his late 20s, told in a victim impact statement how his parents had to deal with guilt and anger when they found he had been abused as they felt that they had failed to properly protect him from Rath, whom they had invited into their home.

"A lot of my childhood years and innocence were lost at your hands - I cannot forgive you for what you have done - you have ruined my life.

"You not only hurt my family but you have also hurt your own," said the victim in his statement.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin sentenced Rath to six years in jail but suspended the final two years on condition that he be of good behaviour. In total, Rath served just under three years for his crimes.

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