News Courts

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Mother jailed after threats to kill in sex abuse probe

Brian McDonald

Published 27/05/2014 | 02:30

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A mother awaiting sentence on charges of using her young daughter for sexual exploitation and for wilfully neglecting and ill-treating the child was imprisoned after making a series of threats. Picture posed.
A mother awaiting sentence on charges of using her young daughter for sexual exploitation and for wilfully neglecting and ill-treating the child was imprisoned after making a series of threats. Picture posed.

A mother awaiting sentence on charges of using her young daughter for sexual exploitation and for wilfully neglecting and ill-treating the child was imprisoned after making a series of threats.

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Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court heard that the 47-year-old woman threatened to harm the girl if she did not clear her name.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also threatened to kill her husband and wreck his house.

A previous court sitting was told that the woman's daughter had been led around in a dog lead by a neighbour before being raped.

The child was subjected to sexual abuse by her mother as well as by the neighbour from the age of five. Her father is to stand trial later this year on charges of sexually assaulting his daughter.

The neighbour was given an eight-year sentence last year after pleading guilty to raping the child. That sentence is currently under appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In March, Judge Tony Hunt was told that the woman gave the neighbour permission to do as he wished with her daughter and for as long as he liked.

The 47-year-old woman had pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing to 12 charges, including sexual assault, wilful neglect or ill-treatment, as well as using her daughter for the purpose of sexual exploitation. All of the charges took place between 2004 and 2008 in the west of Ireland.

The court was told by a garda that the mother had also taught her daughter to masturbate when she was just five, while the child often went without food and was unable to use utensils or brush her hair when taken into care at the age of nine.

In court yesterday, Probation and Welfare Service officer Colette Byrne said she had met with the mother in her office in Athlone on May 14 for the purpose of preparing a report for the court.

Angry

The woman was sober, but was very angry and very clear – she said that she would break up the house, kill her husband and harm her daughter.

Detective Inspector Pat Finlay said he became aware of the threat by the woman to kill her husband, damage the house and harm her daughter if she did not clear the mother's name.

He was concerned that the woman would follow through on her threats. The woman was arrested and questioned by gardai and she admitted making threats, but said it was on the spur of the moment.

She denied the specific threat against her daughter.

Det Insp Finlay told Judge Tony Hunt that gardai were monitoring the homes of the woman's husband and the foster home of her children.

Judge Hunt remanded the woman in custody to next week.

Irish Independent

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