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Father who sexually abused daughter defiled three underage girls after leaving the family home

The judge praised the young woman for her “courage, tenacity and composure”.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

A FATHER WHO sexually abused his daughter over a seven year period went on to assault three underage girls after leaving the family home, a court has heard.

The Dublin man (56) had sexual encounters with two teenage girls and entered into a sexual relationship with a third, who lived with him for a period of time.

This occurred after his daughter reported the seven years of sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father to her mother in 2014 and he left the family home, the Central Criminal Court heard today.

The man is currently serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for the defilement offences.

The man has 17 previous convictions in total, including defilement of a child, possession and distribution of child pornography, a detective garda told the court.

The man pleaded guilty to six offences relating to his daughter between 2007 and 2014 including oral rape, sexual assault and incest. A further 25 counts, including 14 counts of incest and one count of possessing child pornography, were taken into account.

The court has heard that the daughter wishes to waive her right to anonymity.

Mr Justice Michael White said today that reporting restrictions must remain in place until 22 July, when the man is to be sentenced, but will end on that date.

He paid tribute to the daughter, saying the court was “hugely impressed by her courage and composure”.

“What happened to her was the most fundamental breach of one of the most important relationships – father and daughter.”

“Any father would have been proud to have [her] as his daughter in terms of her personality and courage,” the judge said.

He noted the man had limited insight for what he has done to his daughter, which he noted included the procurement of her for sexual favours with other men. “It’s a very unusual and distressing case,” he said.

The court previously heard that the abuse began in 2007, when the then 18-year-old daughter started receiving anonymous text messages, which later transpired to have been sent by her father.

The messages began demanding that she do sexual things with men while threatening to send information to her father’s work regarding her previously talking to boys on an online chatroom for teenagers.

When she told her father about what was happening, he said she would have to do these things because his job was at risk.

It was arranged that her father would let a person into their home and she would do whatever this person wanted while wearing a blindfold and earphones playing music.

Her father then came into the bedroom where she was blindfolded and began forcing her to give him oral sex and sexually assaulted her.

These incidents continued to occur before escalating to her having to engage sexually with two men while blindfolded. She believed she had no choice and that she was doing this to save her father’s job.

The victim did not realise her father was behind everything until, at the age of 21, she found a DVD recording of the first time she was sexually abused by her father while she was wearing a blindfold.

The abuse continued after she confronted her father about this and he claimed he was being blackmailed. Over seven-and-a-half years she was forced to have sex with her father and other men on numerous occasions, the court heard.

She had no sexual experience whatsoever prior to the beginning of the offending, the court heard. He also physically assaulted her and threatened to kill her on several occasions.

The abuse came to an end in June 2014 when she told a teacher what had happened and then informed her mother. Her mother had been “completely unaware” of what had been going on as it always took place while she was out of the house.

In interview with gardaí, the man admitted his daughter’s version of events were “100 per cent” true.

In his plea of mitigation today, Paul Carroll SC, defending, said that up until the age of 42, when the offending began, the man led a life that was “to all intents and purposes without blemish”.

He said the man had progressed in his workplace up to the role of supervisor, had a home, a family and “matters seemed to be normal”.

He said after the sexual abuse of his daughter came to light, the man “went off the rails” and engaged in sexual activity with underage girls. He has been in custody since 2017 for these offences and has agreed to take part in sexual offender therapy, the court heard.

Carroll referred to a psychological report which found the man was psychologically vulnerable, had “chronic levels of low self-esteem” and had difficulties which “led him into a fantasy world via the internet”. He is at an average risk of re-offending, the court heard.

He had difficulty appreciating the “power differential” between himself and his victims and had issues in relation to victim empathy, the court heard.

The man pleaded guilty to the oral rape and sexual assault of his daughter at the family home in Dublin on dates between 1 April 2007 and 31 May 2007.
He pleaded guilty to the same offences at the same address on dates between 1 November 2007 and 31 December 2007.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of having carnal knowledge of a female person who he knew to be his daughter, one count on a date unknown between April 1, 2007 and August 31 2007, and the second count on a date unknown between May 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014.

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In her victim impact statement, which she previously read out in court, the man’s daughter said she was a 32-year-old survivor, not victim, of sexual abuse.

The woman said that growing up she always feared her father and that this fear will be with her always. She said she was defenceless and was “easy prey” for him and others “in his sick world”.

She said she was forced into doing a college course she did not want to do by her abuser. She said she had wanted to be a teacher or nurse, but he refused to let her pick these careers and she is now in a career she hates.

The woman said she had had a dream of being married and having children by the time she was 30, but she does not now feel like that will ever happen for her.

She said it was “like living with Patrick Bergin in the movie Sleeping with the Enemy”, but that she could not swim away like Julia Roberts did in the movie.

The woman said the fear of having a relationship was “daunting” due to threats. She said her abuser once threatened that if she moved in with a boy, he would find where they were and burn the place down.

She said that perhaps the only thing that prevented her getting STIs were that he always wore condoms at her insistence. She said he once found it “hysterically amusing” when she feared she was pregnant due to her period being late.

The woman said she would have to strip the bed and clean up after the incidents. She said afterwards she would shower and “scrub herself raw” to try and cleanse herself, but she will never wash away the memories.

She said how easily he deceived others “baffled” her. She said she had to “reluctantly put on a front to mask the horror” of what was going on.

The woman said that she reached the point during the abuse that she felt the only way it was going to end was with him killing her or her killing herself.

She said telling gardaí about the experience was “horrendous” and that it was “a very painful and daunting, long process”. She said the embarrassment and shame of having to say these things out loud “made me crumble”.

The woman said she had two main goals today, which were to face her abuser and to deliver her statement herself. She said she hopes her experience helps one person to speak out.

She said the world will now know who he is and what he has done. She said she will not carry shame any more for what he has done.

After completing her statement, Justice White thanked her and said her “courage, tenacity and composure is an example to us all”.

About the author:

Brion Hoban and Isabel Hayes

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