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Central Criminal Court

Man jailed for rape and sexual abuse of two girls over prolonged periods of time

The 59-year-old man pleaded guilty to 12 counts relating to the sexual abuse of the two girls in the 1990s and 2000s.

A “MONSTER” WHO raped and sexually abused two girls when they were teenagers and he was a much older man has been jailed for 12 years.

The 59-year-old man, who can’t be named to protect the anonymity of his victims, pleaded guilty to 12 counts relating to the sexual abuse of the two girls in the 1990s and 2000s, including rape, oral rape, and sexual assault.

He worked for the first victim’s family business, while the second victim was his then partner’s sister.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the man initially faced a total of 26 charges, but the pleas were acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions on a full facts basis.

The offences relate to two victims and occurred over two separate time periods at various locations, primarily in Dublin and Kildare.

The first victim was aged between 12 and 17 when she was sexually assaulted by the man between 1992 and 1997. The man was a family friend who was working in her parents’ business at that time.

The abuse included inappropriate touching, forced masturbation, digital penetration, oral rape and vaginal rape.

The incidents primarily occurred in her family home and at locations used by her parents’ business. On one occasion, the man raped her in a vehicle on the road between Sligo and Dublin.

The second victim was aged between 11 and 17 when the man sexually assaulted her on dates between 2000 and 2006.

The abuse included inappropriate touching and digital penetration. She is the sister of the man’s then partner. The abuse often occurred when she visited the man’s home, the court heard.

Sentencing the man today, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the man should be given consecutive sentences for his offending, which he said took place against two different victims over a prolonged period of time, with no overlapping period.

He noted that in relation to the first complainant, the man had “roundly” abused the trust of her parents, to whom he was a trusted employee. He said the man also took advantage of the second complainant at a time when he was going out with her much older sister.

Mr Justice Hunt noted the man was much older than both of his victims – with age differences of 15 and 23 years, consecutively. He said the harm caused to both women when they were children can never be undone and is ever present in their lives.

In relation to the first complainant, he imposed a sentence of nine-and-a-half years. In relation to the second complainant, he imposed a consecutive sentence of four years.

He suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on a number of conditions, including that the man have no contact whatsoever with either complainant and that he remain under the supervision of the Probation services for a period of four years.

At a previous sentence hearing, a local garda read victim impact statements written by both complainants into the record.

The first victim said her life has been irreversibly affected by the abuse, and while she appears to be a grown-up woman, this is a “mask”. She said she often feels like “the scared little girl he abused” on the inside.

She said the man’s actions have had a “ripple effect” on her family and friends and were “devastating” for her parents.

She said the man “took advantage of a position of trust” and used her vulnerability as a “tool of manipulation and control”. He made her feel she wouldn’t be believed as a “silly little girl”, and she said she was left in pain, feeling helpless and scared on many occasions.

She said the man used her as an “outlet for his perverse and illegal desires”. While the criminal process had been painful, she said she was grateful he had been “exposed for what he is”, that “justice had been served”, and that the “public are protected from this monster”.

In her victim impact statement, the second complainant said the man broke her trust when he abused her. She said she couldn’t comprehend what had happened, but knew it had to be kept secret.

She said she believed she’d done something wrong and felt ashamed that she was “cheating” with her sister’s then-partner. She worried she’d lose her family if they found out.

She said she felt she was “hiding our secrets, but I now realise it wasn’t ours, but his”.

She said when the abuse ended, she was determined that it wouldn’t affect her future. However, she later disclosed the abuse to protect her own child from the “monster in my family”.

She said she wonders as her children age how she will protect them from sexual predators and the “tough reality” will hit when they reach the age she was when the abuse started.

The investigating garda agreed with Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, that there was an early guilty plea and no disclosure was sought by the defence.

Psychological and probation reports were handed to the court.

The court heard the man has a long work history and lost his job when the abuse came to light.

Counsel said his client is aware that the age disparity, abuse of trust and “abuse of the kindness” of the first victim’s parents are aggravating features of this case.

Ó Lideadha said his client has experienced mental health difficulties since the abuse came to light, but these are matters he brought upon himself.

He noted the psychological report states his client engaged in “cognitive distortion” by convincing himself that he had consent at the time of the offending, but has now expressed awareness that this was not the case.

He said the report also gives a background to the offending in the man’s psychological history. His client came from a family where he “didn’t feel he was loved or cared for” but did receive “love and care” from the first victim’s parents.

His client was in a relationship “where he felt he got love and affection,” which ended when he was 25. He then used the first victim “as a form of release from his negative self-loathing” and later the second victim in a similar manner.

Ó Lideadha said this was not offered to the court as a justification for the man’s actions but as an explanation.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt noted that the court has to “know what the dangers are” as it’s likely he will be released into the community once he serves his sentence.

He added that “most people have disappointments in their lives without resorting to anything similar”.

Ó Lideadha said his client “deluded himself” into believing there was a consensual relationship and manipulated the victims.

He noted that the probation report indicated his client is “still engaging in some distortions” but expressed remorse and is considered suitable for probation supervision.

His client is willing to engage with any treatment programmes, and the defence counsel asked the court to consider suspending a portion of any sentence to ensure compliance with any requirements.