Thursday 29 September 2016

'My childhood was taken' - Paedophile jailed for seven years for raping his niece

Sonya McLean

Published 12/07/2016 | 18:30

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

A convicted paedophile has been jailed for seven years after he was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting his niece.

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The 81-year-old man was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury last May of raping and indecently assaulting the child in August 1971 in County Clare. He had denied the two charges.

He was jailed for four and a half years last year after conviction by another Central Criminal Court jury of 11 counts of indecently assaulting one daughter in Clare between January 1971 and December 1973 and a second daughter in 1980. Both girls were aged between 11 and 13 years old at the time.

The man cannot be identified to protect the anonymity of his victims.

Garda Donal Corcoran told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that the now 56-year-old victim later told gardaí she was 11 years old when she was first raped by the man. She said a woman took her out of her own bed and put her in the bed of the sleeping naked accused.

She recalled the woman brushing her (the victim's) hair and leaving the room before she was raped. She described being in tremendous pain. Afterwards she re-dressed and returned to her own room where her siblings were still sleeping.

The victim recalled a second occasion when she was out shooting rabbits with the accused. He placed her on the ground and molested her while kissing her. He told her if she “remained silent it would not happen to any of the others”. The girl took it that the man was referring to her own siblings.

Gda Corcoran said the accused left Ireland for some time before he was found again in the UK. He was returned to Ireland on foot of a European Arrest Warrant in June 2012. He later received bail pending the trials.

A victim impact report before the court stated that the offences “still has a massive impact” on the woman to this day.

“My childhood was taken. I was made to think it was all my fault,” the woman continued before she added that it had been “a huge burden on my life”.

She said she could now sleep more often without nightmares and she “doesn't want to be a victim anymore”.

Michael Delaney SC, defending, handed in medical reports to the court but told Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan that there were “no major concerns” about his client's health.

He said he was limited in what he could say “given the manner in which he met the case”.

Ms Justice Heneghan noted that the accused had never shown any remorse for his actions.

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