Thursday 8 December 2016

'I was a victim when I was 8, I'm not a victim anymore' - Woman tells court as her uncle set to be sentenced for sexually abusing her

Andrew Phelan

Published 04/04/2016 | 14:01

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A MOTHER-of-four who was sexually abused by her uncle has told a court: “I’m not a victim any more.”

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The woman was assaulted by the man, a married father-of-three daughters, three times in the early 1990s, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.

She was playing Nintendo while he babysat her in his house at the time.The court heard he touched his niece, now in her early 30s, outside her clothes on the first two occasions.

The third time, he removed his clothes.

Judge Margaret Heneghan adjourned sentencing to Thursday.

The victim told the court she was “devastated” by the abuse.

“The person who did these horrible things to me when I was eight years old needs to be punished for what he’s done," she said in her victim impact statement.

" I was never allowed to feel like a victim, I was always made to feel like a perpetrator who had done something wrong. My life spun out of control, I stopped caring - he stole my innocence and my childhood. I’m not bitter, I just want him to be held accountable. I was a victim when I was 8; I'm not a victim anymore."

The man’s sisters said he was introverted and socially and sexually inept and immature at the time he abused his niece.

He said to counsellors that he felt guilt, shame and self-loathing after the sex assaults.

“He says he is deeply, deeply sorry for all the hurt and pain she has been through… none of this is her fault,” the accused’s lawyer said.

The court heard it was a very close-knit family and the accused was babysitting the victim when he “mimicked sexual intercourse” with her.

They were fully clothed at the time.

The victim said she had trusted her uncle and what happened “felt weird.”

She described the second incident as “dry riding.”

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