Wednesday 26 October 2016

Mum stands by stepfather who abused daughters in grotesque Facebook post defending him

David Kearns

Published 01/09/2015 | 10:21

John Joe Patterson was sentenced for 40 counts of sexually assaulting his step-daughters over a 10-year period
John Joe Patterson was sentenced for 40 counts of sexually assaulting his step-daughters over a 10-year period

Two sisters sexually abused by their stepfather have blasted claims by their mother on Facebook that they lied to get back at her.

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Brave abuse survivors Emma (27) and Vanessa (24) Witherow were subjected to a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of their stepfather John Joe Patterson (54) – who, last October, was sentenced for 39 counts of sexually assaulting Emma between 1996 and 2006.

The serial abuser also pleaded guilty to one count of sexually assaulting Vanessa at Nenagh Circuit Court in June.

The women’s mother Frances Pattterson has now accused the pair of ‘lying’ in court to get back at their stepfather in a bizarre Facebook post defending her husband.

“I can’t get my head around it, why they have told so many lies about me and John Joe,” she wrote on her Facebook page last Thursday.

“[He] wouldn’t hurt a fly or hurt anyone. No wrong doing was ever found in our house.”

Ms Pattterson said her daughters had been ‘turned against their stepfather’ by her former partner – the women’s birth father.

However, speaking to the Irish Daily Star, Emma said this was never the case.

“It seems all too easy for our mother to try and blame our deceased father for our dislike for Patterson.”

The convicted sex offender first started abusing Emma when she was six years old, and began to abuse Vanessa when she turned nine.

The abuse only ended when the elder sister left home when she was 18 and took her younger sister with her.

Speaking to the Star, Emma said she and her sister were “extremely hurt” and distressed by their mother’s comments.

“I have kids myself and as a parent I would do anything to protect them. She is just not a proper mother,” she said, adding that the pair had not spoken to their mother for the past seven years.

Standing by Patterson despite his convictions for abusing her daughters, Ms Patterson wrote in her grotesque Facebook post that her partner had only plead guilty to abusing Vanessa to “stop the case”.

“We went to court and fought the case as best we could against Emma which we lost and then the state were bringing a separate case with Vanessa which John Joe or myself was not able to cope with, John Joe’s mental state and my sickness.

“John Joe gave one guilty plea only on Vanessa to stop the case.”

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