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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 20 January, 2020

Father jailed for repeated rape of his daughter told gardaí he considered her a 'partner by night'

The man was jailed for 15 years.

Image: PA Images

A MAN WHO told gardaí he considered his daughter a “partner” by night has been jailed for 15 years for raping and sexually assaulting her from when she was a young child.

The 52-year-old man pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to 21 sample charges, including rape, attempted rape, anal rape and sexual assaults in Dublin and Leinster on dates ranging from January 2006 to December 2017. He can’t be named to protect his daughter’s identity.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of assault causing harm to his daughter on dates from June 2016 to December 2017. He has no previous convictions.

A local garda revealed that the man gave his daughter two black eyes on one occasion.

He said the now 17-year-old suspected this was because her father had viewed an image of her on her phone in which he had deemed her inappropriately dressed. The garda told Conor Devally SC, prosecuting, that a subsequent beating had put the girl out of school for a time.

He revealed that after his arrest the man admitted his abuse, but downplayed beating the girl and suggested that he viewed her “by day father and daughter, by night partner”.

The court heard that during one summer the girl thought she was pregnant and this caused “temporary respite” for a month. When it transpired she was not pregnant the abuse resumed.

The girl told gardaí that no week went by without her being raped and that the attacks happened almost daily on weekends and during holidays.

Victim impact

In her victim impact statement which she read out in court, the girl said that her father “tore her soul apart”.

“I cared about him from the depths of my heart, but he broke that,” she said.

The worst thing he did to me was that he made me love him unconditionally. The biggest danger in my world was right in front of me and he could not save me from himself.

Mr Justice Michael White said the offences were “at the very apex of seriousness” and noted the “profound breach of trust” involved.

He said the “moving” victim impact statement reflected how the man had used his daughter’s “filial love to isolate her and cruelly abuse her”.

He stated that the “relationship between a father and daughter is very important for the development of personality and well-being of any young daughter and is something to be respected at all times”.

He said the young woman was abused in a way he found hard to describe.

The judge took into account the man’s genuine remorse, his deep shame and isolation from his family.

He imposed an 18 year prison sentence with the final three suspended on condition that the man undergo the Better Lives treatment programme in jail.


The court heard that the girl made her first complaint to gardaí shortly after a final incident of sexual assault in December 2017.

A local garda told Devally that the girl’s mother made a “pretext of leaving the house to obtain a prescription” on that occasion, because the man’s behaviour was very controlling at home.

The court heard the abuse began through inappropriate touching from when the girl was between four and seven years old.

The family moved premises a number of times and the touching continued at each location. The garda said the man humiliated his daughter by having her remove her clothes for him for his sexual pleasure.

The garda said on one occasion, sometime around 2012 or 2013, the man forced his daughter to the ground in a field near where they were living at the time and tried to rape her. Her father abandoned the attack and that she recalled running away and crying.

The abuse escalated into oral and anal rape. She told gardaí that no week went by without her being raped in this fashion and that the attacks happened almost daily on weekends and during holidays.

She said on the first occasion her father assured it wouldn’t interfere with her virginity.

The girl revealed that her father later progressed to vaginal rape, which had a particularly bad effect on her as he had led her to believe her virginity was to be prized.

The garda told Mr Devally that the teenager suffered physical and psychological pain and that she was “completely conditioned” to her father’s sexual requests from a very young age.

The man indicated to gardaí that his marriage had difficulties around 2005 and he suggested this was a reason he abused his daughter.

The garda said the man told officers that “all control abandoned him” when his father died. The man accepted he had given his daughter alcohol during some of the incidents and admitted he had smoked cannabis.


The garda agreed with Caroline Biggs SC, defending, that the man had co-operated fully with the investigation and had moved out of the family house once the allegation had been made.

He agreed that the man appeared sorrowful and physically distressed during several interviews. During one interview the man said “I just want to get what I deserve”.

“She was hope, she was the one I thought would make me proud,” he told gardaí.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, submitted that a psychologist’s report on her client revealed he had been sexually defiled as a teenager by boys his age or older.

She submitted to Mr Justice White that the man had come from a deprived background and had been bullied as a child and young man. She said the report outlined that he had felt “inept and redundant as a husband, father and man” and so exerted dominance in his family.

She asked the judge to take into account her client’s guilty plea and his letter of remorse to his victim.

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About the author:

Aoife Nic Ardghail and Brion Hoban

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