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Man (77) who sexually abused teenage daughter jailed for two-and-a-half years

The defendant has no previous convictions and cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim.

A MAN WHO sexually abused his teenage daughter over a period of two years has been jailed for two and half years.

The 77-year-old man was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury following a trial last February. He had pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecent assault against a female on unknown dates between 1985 and 1987 at a location in Leinster.

The defendant has no previous convictions and cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim.

Passing sentence today, Judge Sarah Berkeley set a headline sentence of five years, taking into account the circumstances of the offending and the moral culpability of the accused.

She noted from a victim impact statement before the court that the woman found the trial harrowing but she seems to have gotten some closure. She said the woman had indicated that she has returned to education and wished her the best.

Judge Berkeley said the man committed “vile acts of abuse on a young woman” describing it as a heinous crime, particularly considering that the victim was his daughter. She said he will be sentenced now but his daughter will live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of her life.

She said in imposing sentence she was taking into account the fact that he is “undoubtedly in very poor health” and that he had supported his family growing up.

She accepted evidence that due to significant cardiac difficulties he is experiencing, he will need both care and medication in prison before she imposed a two-and-a-half year jail term.

At an earlier hearing, a local detective told Lisa Dempsey, BL, prosecuting, that the injured party in the case made a statement to gardaí in December 2020. She disclosed that she had been abused as a teenager by her father.

The court heard that the injured party was overpowered and digitally penetrated both vaginally and anally by the defendant while he masturbated. As the injured party got older, the defendant would also touch her breasts.

The garda described one particular incident when the man pulled the young girl from the shower and abused her.

The court heard that the injured party “grew up afraid”, and to date, she still suffers from panic attacks and depression. During the trial, the injured party gave evidence that she had “buried the abuse”.

A victim impact statement was handed into the court but not read aloud.

The defendant attended a voluntary interview and denied all the allegations that had been made against him. He said that he “had never put a hand on her” and that the injured party “needed serious help”.

The detective agreed with Mark Lynam, SC, defending, that his client suffers from heart failure, has no previous convictions, and has worked all his life.

Lynam said his client does not accept the verdict of the jury.

Counsel handed medical reports and a letter from the defendant’s GP to the court, which outlined his client’s medical conditions and medications.

He said these are very serious offences but asked the court to consider suspending a portion of the prison sentence that she was to impose.