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The Bell family are the latest to be let down by Irish justice

It seems like virtually every day in Ireland we turn on the news and see the most appalling, shocking, unbelievable court decisions imaginable.

It appears that there is no crime too extreme and no offence too heinous for the perpetrator to ultimately walk away with a slap on the wrist. And the examples of this simply never end.

This week in “outrageously soft on crime,” let’s read about a convicted Lithuanian rapist who killed a Monaghan father of two in an unprovoked attack and was released after serving just 3 years and 9 months in jail.

As reported in the Independent:

“A man who killed an innocent father out celebrating his twin daughters’ christening has been released from jail, having served less than four years behind bars.
Vytautas Racys assaulted 35-year-old Seamus Bell in an unprovoked one-punch attack in 2018, leaving his victim in coma for five months before he died.
Racys was sentenced in January 2019 to five years in prison for the manslaughter of Mr Bell.
Now the Sunday Independent has confirmed the Lithuanian national has been released from prison, having served just three years and nine months.”

So how exactly did the attack take place? Who started it? Well, let’s read on:

“In passing sentence at the time, Judge John Aylmer noted the assault was an unprovoked attack in which Racys had followed Mr Bell on the street for at least five metres before striking him with a right-hand uppercut.
It had been accepted by the defendant that Mr Bell had his hands in his pockets at the time, so the inevitable consequences were that he fell to the ground without the protection of his arms.”

So the attack was completely unprovoked and captured on CCTV. And then, the key piece of info:

“The attack left him [Bell] in a coma, but he died five months later.”

Note that the assault happened in the presence of the man’s partner, the mother of his children. She had to witness her husband being brutally assaulted which ultimately led to his death. Through tears, she described the punch as sounding like a “crack,” and it happened when the man was unable to defend himself.

And by the way, in case we are in any doubt as to the character of the attacker, as we read in the Irish Sun:

“Racys, who had apologised for killing Mr Bell, had 13 previous convictions, including rape, sexual assault and robbery in his native country.”

Yes, you read that correctly. 13 previous convictions, including rape, sexual assault and robbery.

By the way: this, in and of itself, is a huge story.

This man was a convicted rapist, thief and sexual assaulter BEFORE he came to Ireland, back in his native country of Lithuania. He entered Ireland having all these crimes on his record and was allowed to wander free.

What this should tell us is that this crime did not need to happen. There is no sane way to justify letting someone with such a track record into our country. Of course, the EU has free travel rules, but entry can be denied to individuals on the grounds of public safety or security.

And yet apparently, the authorities either didn’t know about his background, and let any manner of undesirable wander into the country at will. Or they’re fully aware of this man’s past, and simply don’t care what happens to people like Seamus Bell or his family.

And that’s even before you get to him being release just three and a bit years after killing someone. There are multiple levels of failure here.

If a story like this doesn’t make you angry, I don’t know what will. And it’s far from an isolated incident.

Speaking after Racys’ release, Bell’s family described the feeling of devastation they felt at the decision.

“Our lives are forever changed because of the actions of the perpetrator,” they said.

“The loss of a partner, son, brother and father will be felt by us for life, we will get no release from our sentence. We do not feel we have received justice for our loss.”

And of course, they’re correct. They haven’t received justice. And for that, the State should be utterly ashamed.

After all, what can be said about Irish law and order that hasn’t already been said about the Hindenburg?

At the end of the day both are full of hot air, and the former is currently exploding publicly in spectacular fashion.

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