A MAN who sexually abused his daughter and step daughter has been given an eight year sentence.
The two women told the Central Criminal Court how they attempted suicide after repeated sexual abuse by the man. The girls lived with him and one of them acted as his carer.
The 44 year old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault against the two girls and one count of rape with an object between 2001 and 2003 at various locations in Dublin.
Mr Justice Paul Carney imposed an eight year sentence and suspended the final two years.
He took into account the gravity and multiplicity of offences, the breach of trust, the age of the victims and the effect the abuse had upon them. He ordered the accused to stay away from his victims in perpetuity and undergo 18 months post release supervision.
Both women were under 17 at the time of the abuse and the abuse would occur up to two or three times a week. It usually followed a similar pattern involving digital and oral penetration.
She told the court how the abuse had an “enormous and profound” effect on her and that she attempted suicide as a result. She said he was encouraged to drink and take drugs by her abuser and that she did this to “escape” from the abuse.
She said she is now receiving counselling and gets great support from the One in Four organisation.
Her step-sister told the court that she also tried to take her life after the abuse. She said she still doesn’t know the extent of the damage the accused has done to her because she is still finding out. She said she suffers from night terrors and bouts of anger.
“He took everything from me and made me believe that all I was good for was sex,” she stated.
She said she felt sorry for the accused but could never forgive him.
“He will only be punished for a short period whereas I will be punished for the rest of my life.”
Garda Daniele Cummins told prosecuting counsel, Patrick McGrath BL, that the girls lived with the accused in a chaotic environment and that two adults and three children often had to share a double bed. Most of the abuse occurred in the house with some happening in a parked car and outside a pub.
The man threatened one of the girls that he would kill her if she told anyone about the abuse. Eventually another family member went to gardai with details of abuse and both victims made statements.
Defence counsel Conor Devally SC said his client has an insight into the effects of the abuse and entered early guilty pleas. He said that has lived an isolated existence since the charges came to light and no longer sees his children