Wednesday 18 October 2017

Man described as 'evil person' jailed for 13 years for sexually assaulted his four young nieces

Central Criminal Court (Stock photo)
Central Criminal Court (Stock photo)

Sonya McLean and Fiona Ferguson

A man who sexually abused four of his nieces has been jailed for 13 years.

The 49-year-old Longford man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to seven charges including three charges of anal rape and one sexual assault of one niece on dates between June and August 2006, when she was seven years old.

He also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting her older sister three years previously, when she was also seven and two charges each of sexually assaulting their then nine year old and 16 year old cousins on dates between October 2001 and June 2010.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted that the first victim had been abused around the time of her First Holy Communion which, due to its associations with happiness and innocence, made it particularly poignant. He said the offences were a gross breech of trust of the children by their uncle.

Mr Justice McCarthy noted the accused man was a person with severe limitations and a poor history in terms of education and employment. He imposed consecutive sentences totalling 13 years and ordered five years post release supervision.

The first girl outlined in her victim impact statement how she was afraid of the accused and cannot forget what happened to her. She said that family was supposed to help you, not to hurt you.

The second victim described the accused as an “evil person” and said the time since the offences came to light have been “hell.” The third girl outlined that she suffered panic attacks and said the abuse had changed her whole life, causing her to push people away.

The final victim said she remembered the sexual assault upon her vividly and was terrified of the accused man. She said for a long time she had cried herself to sleep and knows she will never get over what happened to her.

A local garda told prosecuting counsel that the first victim recalled being abused in the summer of 2006 when she was aged seven years old. She recalled being anally raped on three occasions as well as one incident of sexual assault.

Her sister was also sexually assaulted by the accused in 2003 and two further nieces were sexually assaulted by the accused man in offences in 2002 and 2010.

Mary Rose Gearty SC, defending, said that the accused man has low intellectual functioning and is unemployed. He left school at an early age and can neither read nor write.

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