AN accountant who sexually abused a young girl while she was aged between six and 12-years-old has been jailed for five years.
Owen O'Brien (43) of Eden Terrace, North Circular Road, Limerick was imprisoned for five years after Judge Tom O'Donnell said he stole the innocence of his victim and groomed her his own sexual gratification.
O'Brien pleaded guilty to committing six counts of sexual assault on the girl between on January 1, 2002 and March 31, 2007 at addresses in Limerick city.
Judge O'Donnell told Limerick Circuit Criminal Court that the sexual assaults were carried out by O'Brien for the sole purpose of pleasuring himself.
Oral sex, simulated intercourse and masturbation were among the crimes committed on the young girl.
The judge said it was a very serious case which he described as a "cold, cunning, systematic, pre-mediated and calculated grooming of a six-year-old child child".
The offences, which occurred two to three times a week, only halted when the girl was 12-years-old and demanded that O'Brien stop sexually abusing her. The crimes came to light when she was 17-years-old.
The injured party suffered serious psychological harm and has a low self-esteem as a result of the abuse.
The judge said she showed remarkable bravery in making the complaint and now hopes to complete the leaving certificate and attend college.
"The accused stole the innocence of youth of this child - something she will never get to experience again," he added.
Judge O'Donnell said it would be inappropriate to suspend any part of the five year sentence.
He also placed O'Brien on the sex offenders' registrar indefinitely and ordered that he come under the supervision of the welfare services for three years after he is released.
The teenage victim was hugged by family members when the sentence on her abuser was passed.