April 2019

Furious mum blasts justice system after daughter’s sex attacker has tag removed for Spanish holiday

A furious mum has blasted the justice system after her daughter’s sex attacker was allowed to have his tag removed to go on holiday to Spain.

John O’Sullivan, 67, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old following a trial in July last year.

In August, he was handed a restriction of liberty order – which requires a person to remain within their home at times specified by the court – for nine months and was monitored by an electronic tag.

Last month, O’Sullivan submitted an application to Alloa Sheriff Court to have his restriction of liberty order lifted for 14 days – allowing him to remove his tag and fly to Tenerife.

The request was granted by visiting Sheriff James MacDonald and it is understood that O’Sullivan and his wife Elizabeth, 57, returned from their trip last week.

Last night, the victim’s mum explained the torment her daughter continues to go through.

The mum, who cannot be identified to preserve her daughter’s anonymity, said: “This should never have been allowed. It is totally wrong.

“My daughter has really been affected by what happened to her.

“She won’t go out the house by herself.

“She has to walk about with her personal alarm to make her feel safer.

“She is constantly on edge and she is scared she bumps in to him again.”

O’Sullivan, from Alva, Clackmannanshire, had targeted the teen between June and August last year by placing his hand on her thigh and repeatedly rubbing it up and down.

He also caused fear or alarm by making a sexually explicit comment to her last September.

As well as being tagged, O’Sullivan was sentenced to complete a 18-month-community payback order and added to the sex offenders’ register for five years.

The victim’s mum added: “He was given this restriction order as a punishment.

“To then learn he just had it lifted so he could go to the sun on holiday for two weeks makes a mockery of the justice system. He walks about with his head held high, bragging down the pub about how he got his tag off while my daughter is not the same. It’s ridiculous.”

The family received support from politicians last night after hitting out at the tag removal.

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “As if the sentence handed down wasn’t lenient enough, this ridiculous decision will cause even more misery for the victim and their family.

“It’s no wonder criminals laugh at our justice system while things like this happen.

“We should be getting tougher on sex offenders, not granting them sunshine breaks from their tagging orders.”