News Courts

Friday 28 October 2016

Father sentenced to six years for 'heinous' sexual abuse of three of his sons

Fiona Ferguson

Published 26/01/2016 | 14:42

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A father has been given a six year sentence for “heinous” sexual abuse of three of his children.

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The 71-year-old man, who can not be named for legal reasons, was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury of indecently assaulting his three sons at locations in the city, mainly in the family home, on dates between 1974 and 1986.

The children ranged in ages between six and 15 years old during the period of abuse.

Judge Catherine Murphy said these offences were particularly heinous having been perpetrated over a protracted period by a father against three innocent and vulnerable sons.

She said the three men did not wish the court to refer to any details in their victim impact statements but said she wished to make it clear that each had suffered profoundly as a result of the offences.

Judge Murphy said each had courageously given clear, cogent and convincing evidence.

She noted the accused man had shown neither regret nor remorse. She also took into account factors such as the relationship of the man to his victims and the children's ages at the time of the offences.

She imposed sentences totalling six years which she backdated to reflect time in custody.

Detective Garda Shay Woods told Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, that the abuse of each of the children started when they went to their father's bedroom looking for money for treats. He began by opening the children's clothes and masturbating the boys.

The abuse progressed over time but ended when the children's mother made a decision to move the family away. The accused man has a number of previous convictions but none for sexual offences.

Victim impact statements made by the three complainants were handed into court.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said his client had lived a transient lifestyle since his relationship with his wife collapsed.

He said there were no outstanding matters in relation to any other members of the family and he had not come to any further attention in relation to offences of this kind.

Mr Bowman said the accused man was in advanced years and, although he had no particular health issues, serving a sentence would be difficult at his age.

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