Man jailed for abuse of cousin he babysat
A Sligo man who sexually abused his young cousin while babysitting her has been jailed for seven and a half years.
The 28-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexual assault of the child on a date between 2007 and 2010.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted that the man was an alcoholic and had a dysfunctional background, but said the lateness of his guilty plea afforded him only "modest credit".
Garda Kevin O'Hora told Garnet Orange SC, prosecuting, that the victim and the accused both came from an extremely dysfunctional background and the accused would occasionally babysit the victim while the child's mother was out drinking.
The child was later removed to the care of an relative due to neglect. The relative became concerned about the child following a conversation they had and she contacted gardai.
The child was interviewed by specialist gardai and disclosed an incident in which she said her cousin had "stuck his private into me". She said it happened when she was four or five years old.
The child's relative prepared a victim impact statement on her behalf. She said the accused man had taken the child's innocence and the girl was worried about things no one her age should be.
Tara Burns SC, defending, said she had been instructed by her client to apologise to the victim. She said he came from a broken family and had a difficult upbringing. He had never worked in his life and had a severe drinking problem.