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Central Criminal Court

Remorseless ‘persistent child sex abuser' who offended over almost three decades is jailed for 13 years

The 71-year-old man first sexually abused his own daughter, then a babysitter and finally his stepdaughter, between 1979 and 2007.

A REMORSELESS “PERSISTENT child sex abuser” who offended multiple children over a period of 28 years has been given a 15-year sentence with the final two years suspended.

The 71-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victims’ identity, first sexually abused his own daughter, then a babysitter and finally his stepdaughter, between 1979 and 2007.

The Central Criminal Court heard that he had attended “counselling” after his daughter made disclosures of the abuse to her mother. Despite this, he went on to abuse the other two children.

His daughter spoke of her sense of betrayal that her father went on to abuse more children.

The man’s final victim, his stepdaughter whom he raped multiple times, told the court she hoped in coming forward she had stopped “an evil monster” going on to abuse further children.

The court heard he still enjoys the support of his stepdaughter’s mother, who had written a letter to the court describing him as “a good man.”

The 71-year man pleaded guilty to 37 counts of indecent assault against his daughter on dates between 1979 and 1985. She was aged between six and eleven at the time.

The man was convicted following a trial of the sexual assault of a babysitter, who was aged between 15 and 17 years old at the time, at his home on a date between 1996 and 1998.

He was further convicted by a jury of the oral, anal and vaginal rape of his partner’s daughter at her home on dates between 2003 and 2007. She was aged between nine and 13 years old at the time.

The court was told that the accused man accepted the verdicts of the jury.

Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring said abuse of his daughter and later his stepdaughter in their own homes had been relentless, with no safe place for them to go. She noted that the common factor in all three cases was the breach of trust.

Judge Ring said the accused was a persistent child sex abuser who had shown no remorse.

Judge Ring noted that the earliest offences committed by the man were charged as indecent assault as laid out in legislation at the time but involved oral sex and digital penetration of her vagina.

Judge Ring said these offences were now called oral rape and noted they were a fundamental breach of a child’s bodily integrity and dignity. She said they were penetrative acts and very serious.

The earliest offences against his daughter between carry a maximum sentence of two years, and the later offences against her carry a maximum sentence of ten years. The most recent rape charges against his stepdaughter carry a maximum of life imprisonment.

Ms Justice Ring noted he had attended counselling after his daughter disclosed the abuse against her and that it was her and her mother, the accused man’s ex-partner, who wished not to take the matter further.

She said the fact that he went on to further offending, escalating to penetrative sex against his stepdaughter, meant it was hard to see his attendance at counselling as anything other than cynical and an attempt to placate social work personnel so the matter would not be taken further.

She noted in mitigation his complex medical needs and that he had suffered bereavements.

Ms Justice Ring imposed consecutive sentences totalling 15 years and suspended the final two years on strict conditions, including two years of post-release supervision.

She wished the three young women who had come forward as complainants well into the future.

The accused man’s daughter addressed him directly in the dock and told him she stood in court not as a victim of child sexual abuse but as a survivor. She described the damaging effects of the abuse on her and how she had given her father the biggest lifeline by forgiving him.

She told the court of the betrayal she felt on discovering he had gone on to abuse other children.

She told the accused she would never be his victim as she now had her power back and was moving on with her life, which would be filled with love and happiness.

In her victim impact statement, the babysitter described the shame and embarrassment she felt when the assault became known and how she would have had a happier young life without the incident.

The man’s final victim, his stepdaughter, told the court she hoped in coming forward she had stopped “an evil monster” from going on to abuse more children.

She described in her victim impact statement how the accused man had come into her life and stolen her childhood and any chance of a happy home. She described how there had been no safe place for her in her home.

“If the wall could talk, they would scream,” she told the court.

She described the destructive effects of the abuse and how it had sent her down a wrong path.

A prosecuting garda told Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, the abuse of the man’s daughter occurred at her home, the accused man’s home, at a beach, on holidays and in his work vehicle.

The abuse involved oral rape, touching of her genital area and penetration of her vagina with his fingers. She said it happened so often that she did not know how many times it occurred.

She described how one night she awoke to find the accused kneeling and praying at her bedside, promising not to abuse her again and that it did not happen again after that.

She later made a disclosure to her mother, who confronted her ex-husband, and the accused man went to counselling in around 1989.

Gardai began an investigation in June 2020 when the man’s stepdaughter came forward with her allegations. The accused man admitted his abuse of his daughter but said his stepdaughter was involved in a conspiracy against him and denied those allegations.

His stepdaughter described how the man had raped her multiple times in the family home, on holidays and in his work vehicle. It came to an end in 2007 when she called him out and told him it had to stop.

The babysitter described how she had been sleeping over after minding children for the accused and his second partner when the accused came into the bedroom, and she felt his hand on her genital area. It stopped when he heard his partner calling.

Dara Foynes SC, defending, asked the court to take her client’s age and health into account, as well as the fact that he has no relevant previous convictions and still had the support of his latest partner.

She asked the court not to impose a “crushing sentence” and take into account the totality principle.