Saturday 29 November 2014

Mother married man after he was accused of raping her daughter, court hears

Judges says its 'not surprising' that mother and daughter are on poor terms

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 20/05/2014 | 11:19

Neglect is the most common reason for children going into care
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted the “great resilience and strength of character” of the victim who now enjoys a healthy family life

A mother married her daughter’s rapist after the rape allegations were made against him, a court has heard.

The man – who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity  - has been jailed for 12 years for raping the stepdaughter.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted the “great resilience and strength of character” of the victim who now enjoys a healthy family life.

However he observed she is still on poor terms with her mother.

He said that this was perhaps not surprising given that her mother stayed with the accused after the allegations came to light and even went on to marry him.

The man was convicted by a jury of eight charges of sex assault, three of oral rape and one of raping the girl at two locations on dates between 2003 and 2008. 

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy imposed various sentences amounting to total of 12 years. He suspended none of the term after noting “there was very little to be said in the man’s favour.”

The DPP viewed the case as being on the “severe end of the scale.”

The judge noted the health difficulties of the man, and said he was “giving him light at the end of the tunnel” by not imposing a longer sentence.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to all charges.

He said the man sent text messages saying he might have touched the girl after being admitted to hospital following a paracetamol overdose.

The man later denied the content of these messages when interviewed by gardai, attributing them to hospital staff taking his phone or the effects of paracetamol.

Detective Garda O’Flynn told Mary Rose Gearty SC, prosecuting, that the man also claimed the girl’s uncle may have been the abuser.

The detective said the girl made a complaint about abuse to gardai with her grandmother in 2003, but later withdrew the allegation.

In 2008 she wrote a letter to a social worker detailing the abuse, which had escalated to rape. From this the gardai opened an investigation.

The girl said in her victim impact statement that she feels she can now have a peaceful childhood.

She said she had suffered from flashbacks of the man coming into her room at night and of the fights between him and her mother.

The girl described how the court case outcome had given her a sense of “courage, justice, belief and hope” and that she can now live in peace and “act my age”.

Det Gda O’Flynn agreed with Ciaran O’Loughlin SC, defending, that there had been a happy family relationship before it degenerated.

Mr O’Loughlin submitted that his client suffers from health issues including stress and depression, which will all be exacerbated in jail.

Ms Gearty submitted that the DPP viewed this as “severe” in the category of offending, given the man’s parental role, the victim’s young age, the nature of the offences and their multiplicity.

Detective Garda Paul O’Flynn said the abuse happened when the girl was of primary school going age.                          

The teenager described via video link interview shown at the trial how the man began abusing her by touching her private parts outside her clothes. She said she was about eight years old when he touched her inside her clothes.

The man, who she used to call “dad”, would come into her room at night to touch her private parts and make her perform oral sex on him.

The girl said when she started “going through changes” the man would also feel her chest area.

The man raped her when she was about 11 years old and threatened that she would be going “ten foot under” if she told anybody.

 

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