Tinder rapist and serial sex offender Patrick Nevin has had his 12-year jail term increased by two-and-a-half years, after the State appealed the undue leniency of his sentence.
he Court of Appeal yesterday described the impact on each of his victims as “nothing short of devastating”.
The now 38-year-old attacked three women he met on Tinder during their first meetings in the space of 11 days in July 2014.
The sentencing court for two of these attacks heard that he had a preoccupation with sex and hostility toward women, and was at risk of reoffending.
The computer programmer had pleaded guilty to raping one woman at Bellewstown, Co Meath, on July 12, 2014, and to sexual assault four days later of a second woman in Co Meath.
The father-of-two had been due to stand trial at the Central Criminal Court, but changed his pleas to guilty following a legal ruling, which would allow the prosecution to introduce evidence from the third woman describing sexual assault by Nevin on a first date.
The court heard that the rapist, previously of Meadowlands Court, Mounttown Road, Dun Laoghaire and Dundalk, Co Louth, met both women in this case on Tinder.
Ms Justice Eileen Creedon imposed a 14-year sentence on the rape charge and an eight-year sentence on the sexual assault charge.
Both sentences were to run concurrently, with the final two years suspended.
The attacker had already been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for the sexual assault of his third Tinder victim at UCD’s Belfield campus on July 23 that year.
On Thursday Cathleen Noctor SC appealed the undue leniency of the sentence for the other cases on behalf of the DPP.
She submitted to the Court of Appeal that the judge had erred in failing to identify an appropriate starting point at a significantly higher level than the 15 years she set before considering mitigation.
Ms Noctor said that the judge had not considered a number of aggravating factors.
These included that there was a campaign of offences just days apart, Nevin’s tricking the victims into positions of vulnerability by driving them in his car to remote locations, the fact that he had carried out the attacks while under a suspended sentence for possession of a firearm, and his premeditation.
Another aggravating factor, she said, were his previous convictions for causing serious harm and threatening to kill a female.
“This clearly brings this offence well into the category of between 15 years and life,” she told the court.
Ms Noctor also noted that the sentences for the crimes against both women were made concurrent. She submitted that, as these were individual offences, the judge should have either given a greater sentence or imposed some degree of consecutive sentencing.
Michael Bowman SC made counter arguments on behalf of Nevin. He referred to Nevin’s tricking of the women into positions of vulnerability, noting they had not been taken against their will.
Counsel said that the judge had contextualised the offending behaviour.
He submitted that this headline sentence was actually inappropriate and excessive.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Ms Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh, delivered an extempore judgment yesterday.
“The impact on each is nothing short of devastating,” she said.
She noted Nevin had received a net sentence of 12 years in prison and said that the judge had erred in identifying 15 years as the pre-mitigation sentence.
“It called for the imposition of sentences on a consecutive basis. We conclude that the net sentence of 12 years for both offences is too low,” she said.