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Kerry man jailed for repeated rape of his daughters

Justice Owens imposed 14 years imprisonment and suspended the final two years on strict conditions.

Image: Shutterstock/Pierre-Olivier

A KERRY MAN who began sexually abusing his daughters after renewing a relationship with their mother has been jailed for 12 years.

One of the girls, who was repeatedly raped by her father after he came back into her life following a long absence, said the man had torn her family apart and made her life a living hell.

The court heard her mother and father would regularly be drunk leading to neglect of the children. The victim outlined how her mother had been doing well before her father returned but when he came back she “gave up.”

“I feel like you are the devil,” she said. “Instead of loving me as a daughter you broke my family apart.”

The offending came to light when the younger girl made a 999 call using her sister’s phone after her father left for work and told gardaí: “My dad has been raping me for two years.”

The 38-year-old man, who can not be named to protect the children’s identities, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 14 sample counts of raping his younger daughter on dates between May 2017 and May 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting his elder daughter on a date in April or May 2019.

Justice Alex Owens said the relationship between the parents involved drug taking and alcohol abuse as well as neglect of children for which the accused had a large degree of responsibility.

He noted the accused man and the girl’s mother were regularly drunk after he came back into their lives and despite one of the girls telling her mother what was happening, nothing was done.

Justice Owen’s said the accused man had threatened suicide if the abuse was disclosed and told the girl he would be locked up.

He noted the man had pleaded guilty at an early stage and had been physically and sexually abused in his own childhood. He noted the man was an alcoholic and drug addict for many years.

He noted the man’s culpability was increased due to the repeated offending and multiple victims. He noted the harm caused to the victims and the damage inflicted on their family unit.

The judge said the accused was no longer a young man trying to find his way in life and he had made little or no effort to rehabilitate himself, with a casual disregard for the harm he caused to others.

He said the accused man had offered an apology but this was qualified by a claim to his probation officer that he could not remember abusing the girls. He noted the man’s guilty plea.

Justice Owens imposed 14 years imprisonment and suspended the final two years on strict conditions. He ordered seven years post release supervision.

‘My story so far’

A local garda told Siobhan Lankford SC, prosecuting, that after returning to the family home the accused man had groomed, threatened, and raped his younger daughter over a period of two years.

The offences came to light after gardaí responded to an emergency call from the younger girl telling them her father had been raping her for two years.

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The girl was taken to a sexual assault treatment unit and her father’s DNA was found in semen in her vagina.

Gardai found a document written by the girl called “my story so far” in which she detailed how the abuse which would happen when her parents were drinking had started when she was 12 years old.

The garda said there was a single count of sexual assault against the older girl in which her father had come into her room and touched her breast inside her top and vagina outside her clothing.

Tom Creed SC, defending, said that his client had suffered sexual and severe physical abuse in his own childhood.

He outlined a letter of apology written by the man to his daughters in which he said he had failed as a father and that if he had had the courage to come forward to report what had happened to him he might have been in a different place. He hoped they would use the services available to them.

The man apologised for the hurt and trauma he had inflicted and hoped the sentencing would be the beginning of a closure process for them.

Creed submitted his client had pleaded at an early stage which was some comfort to the girls in that they did not have to come to court and answer questions before a jury.

About the author:

Fiona Ferguson

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