Friday 28 July 2017

Serial abuser gets just six months for 18 years of attacks

The judge imposed seven month suspended sentences for the abuse of the two siblings (Stock photo)
The judge imposed seven month suspended sentences for the abuse of the two siblings (Stock photo)

Conor Gallagher and Fiona Ferguson

A man who sexually abused his brother, sister and nephew over an 18-year period has been given a six-month prison sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Patricia Ryan said repeatedly that "the court has to stress" that it didn't have the power to impose more than two years for the abuse - because that was the maximum sentence in place at the time it occurred.

She said she also had to take the 64-year-old man's guilty plea into account, and the fact that he was suffering from a chronic debilitating condition which would lead to additional hardship in prison. The man appeared in court on a mobility scooter.

The accused man was 14 when he first abused his younger brother between the ages of eight and 13. He was 17 when he later abused his 13-year-old sister.

The man, who cannot be named to protect his victims' identities, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting his nephew, his sister and his brother at the family home on dates between 1966 and 1984.

A local garda told Grainne O'Neill BL, prosecuting, that the first victim, the accused's younger brother, remembered being in the accused's bedroom when he was abused.

The accused's sister remembered being in his bedroom listening to records when he abused her.

The accused's nephew described three incidents of indecent assault. He described not understanding what happened during the first incident, which occurred in the accused's bedroom after they listened to a recording of 'Je T'aime'.

The judge imposed seven month suspended sentences for the abuse of the two siblings. She imposed a 10-month sentence for the abuse of the nephew and suspended the final four months. She also ordered the man be registered as a sex offender.

Impact statements completed by the three victims were handed into court.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, said that there has been significant "collateral damage" for the accused since the offences came to light, as his marriage broke down and he had been largely disowned by his family.

Irish Independent

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