People working with children must be vetted

A MAN employed as a bus driver by a youth group in Cork is a convicted rapist, a court heard yesterday.

Romanian national and Millstreet resident Ioan Munteanu pleaded guilty before Judge James McNulty at Macroom District Court in Co Cork to failure to inform an employer of a sexual offence, contrary to the Sex Offenders Act 2001.

The case has prompted the ISPCC to call for a radical reinforcement of the laws governing the vetting of those who work with children and teenagers.

“There should be a statutory responsibility on every employer to have their employees vetted [where children and teenagers were concerned],” said Caroline O’Sullivan, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s director of services.

Ms O’Sullivan has called for “pan-European” structures to be set up so all relevant data on sex offenders is shared across jurisdictions.

Detective Garda Tom O’Sullivan told the court Munteanu, with an address at 8 John Duggan House, Minor Road, Millstreet, Co Cork, was convicted of rape at Manchester Crown Court on June 25, 2004.

He was then aged 20 and was sentenced to six years in a youth offenders’ institute.

He subsequently repatriated to Romania before moving to Millstreet in 2007 to join his parents. He has acquired seven road traffic offences since his arrival.

“It came to the notice of the Gardaí that he was on the sex offenders’ list and he was met by Sergeant Paul O’Brien in Millstreet, who outlined the requirements in respect of this,” said Det Garda O’Sullivan.

“There was no check carried out by Youthreach to see if he had any previous convictions,” Det Grda O’Sullivan said.

Convicting Munteanu, Judge McNulty indicated he had a six-month prison sentence in mind but would consider suspending it if a fine of €1,000 is paid in court on June 2.

He adjourned sentencing until that date and remanded Munteanu on continuing bail.

from the Irish Examiner

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