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Rapist sentenced to five years in prison for sexually abusing young girls

The 61-year-old man was convicted for the acts he carried out as a teenager last year following a trial in Co Offaly.

A CONVICTED RAPIST who sexually abused his two younger sisters during their childhood and raped one of them has been jailed for five years.

One of the women said she had reported the abuse after learning that her family expected her to be supportive of her brother as his release from a lengthy sentence for raping another woman was imminent.

She had told her family of her ordeal and said “it was as if my abuse didn’t matter.”

The 61-year-old man was convicted last year following a trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

He was convicted on 12 counts of indecent assault of his two sisters in their family home in Co Louth on dates between 1974 and 1981.

He was also convicted on one count of rape of the older sister. He has a previous conviction as an adult for raping a woman in the early 2000s.

Justice Paul McDermott, passing sentence at the Criminal Courts of Justice today, said the man “does not appear to show very much appreciation of the trauma” his crimes visited on his victims.

Justice McDermott said the man, who cannot be named to protect the statutory anonymity of the victims, had expressed no remorse for his crimes and had adopted a “resentful tone”.

The judge said he had to take account of the fact that the man committed the offences when he was aged between 12 and 16 years of age. He said the man was also living in a dysfunctional family at the time.

While detained on remand following his conviction, the man had taken rehabilitative steps in prison, the judge said.

Justice McDermott sentenced the man to between eight and 10 months in jail for the 12 offences of indecent assault. He sentenced him to five years in respect of the rape.

The judge said it was appropriate for him to consider ruling that some of the sentences should be served consecutively and he did so in respect of several of the indecent assault sentenced, leading to a cumulative sentence of four years and two months.

This would be served concurrently with the sentences of five years for rape for an effective sentence of five years imprisonment.

The judge said that because of the man’s attitude towards his victims, there was no scope for mitigating the sentences, but he backdated them 18 months and ruled that after his release from jail, he must be supervised for a further five years.

A prosecuting garda told Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, that the eldest sister said she remembered her brother indecently assaulting her in his locked bedroom while looking at a pornographic book while she was aged between 9 and 10 years old between 1974 and 1976.

On the final occasion she said her brother raped her in the bedroom. The accused was about 15 at this time. She did not know until much later that her younger sister had also been abused.

The court heard at this time the children’s father was a violent alcoholic and the home was a dysfunctional, troubled environment. The family moved and their father subsequently sobered up.

The indecent assaults against the younger sister took place in a new home on dates between 1980 and 1981 when the accused man was aged 19 to 20 years old and his sister was ten years younger.

The accused man was subsequently convicted of the rape of a young woman and served a lengthy sentence for that offence.

In around 2010, the one of the sisters sought counselling and disclosed the abuse. Her brother admitted some minor aspects, but denied the narrative given by his sister. Both sisters made a complaint to gardai.

The garda agreed that the man had written letters of apology to most family members towards the end of his sentence and had apologised to his sisters for his “self gratifying behaviour”.

The older sister disclosed in her victim impact statement the guilt, shame and anger she felt when she discovered that her little sister had also been abused. She said she had told her mother in 1993 about the abuse but the message she got was that she should “just get over it.”

She said she had not been surprised when her brother was later convicted of a violent rape.

She said she found counselling painful as she worked through what her brother had done to her, but told the court her engagement with the criminal justice system had been the most difficult thing she had ever done, causing her enormous stress.

She told her brother not a day goes by when she is not affected by his actions. “I continue to grieve for what I lost and the life I should have had,” she told him, outlining all areas of her life were affected.

She said she had been silent for years but now the truth had been heard and validated by her peers so she hopes she can lead as normal a life as possible.

The younger sister outlined how her brother held a position of power in their extremely dysfunctional household. She said the abuse led to her living in fear and shame.

She described how even as an adult she slept in a locked room with a knife under her pillow.

She said she had received no help or support from her parents who had told her not to divulge what had happened to her. She said she made her statement to gardai shortly after her father told her she would be expected to support her brother on his release from his rape sentence.

Making the statement was traumatising but she felt like she was doing the right thing. She said the repercussions of the sexual abuse effect her an her family every day but she would never regret speaking up.

Barry White SC, defending, said his client’s family background was extremely dysfunctional and the man asserts he was abused by a family member, an allegation under garda investigation.

He asked the court to take into account that if the matters had been reported at an earlier stage and dealt with together with his earlier case then a proportional sentence would have been constructed with the entire term having been served at this stage.

He said these offences had come to light as the man was reaching the end of a substantial sentence and a step down program he was on to facilitate his reintegration into society was suspended.

The court heard the defendant has now served an additional 17 months in custody on these charges.

He said his client has not wasted his time in custody, has availed of courses, engaged with alcoholics anonymous and substantially rehabilitated himself. He asked the court to consider a largely suspended sentence.

Fiona Ferguson and Peter Murtagh