Tuesday 21 October 2014

Man who sexually abused niece caused 'childhood full of terror' - court hears

Conor Gallagher

Published 19/06/2014 | 18:02

Judge Tony Hunt sentenced the man to nine years in prison
The 35-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity, admitted repeatedly abusing the girl when she was between five and ten years old.

A man sexually abused his niece and caused her “a childhood full of terror” the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The 35-year-old Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect his victim’s identity, admitted repeatedly abusing the girl when she was between five and ten years old.

After hearing evidence in the case today, Mr Justice Paul Carney adjourned sentencing until next Monday.

The man pleaded guilty to four counts of sexually abuse at locations in Dublin between January 1994 and December 2000.

The now 23-year-old woman said in a victim impact statement that she experienced a “childhood full of terror and pain, both physical and mental.” She said she continues to suffer the effects including shame, embarrassment and panic attacks.

An investigating garda told prosecuting counsel Garnett Orange BL that the abuse occurred when the man would babysit his niece and her siblings.

On various occasions he put his penis between her legs and also masturbated in front of her. He also made her watch pornography and performed oral sex on her. The abuse ended shortly after she turned ten years old.

The abuse came to light after the man was sending “strange text messages” to another person, causing the victim’s parents to ask her if the accused had ever acted inappropriately with her.

He was arrested but made no comment in interview after he consulted with his solicitor but later entered an early guilty plea.

The prosecution told Mr Justice Carney that the Director of Public Prosecutions views the offences as being at the higher end of the scale of seriousness for sexual assault cases.

Defence counsel Aileen Donnelly SC submitted that he client has a good work history and no previous convictions.

She apologised to the victim on her client’s behalf, saying that he will be full of remorse and regret for the rest of his life.

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