Sunday 19 August 2018

'A never ending nightmare' - Woman (22) abused by cousin from age of four tells court 'monster ruined her life'

Survivor Nicole Moran, speaks outside the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts
Survivor Nicole Moran, speaks outside the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts

Sonya McLean

A father of one who first began sexually abusing his four year old cousin when he was nine years old has been sentenced to five years with the final three suspended.

Nicole Moran (22) has waived her right to anonymity, in order that Karl Walsh (27) can be named.

Walsh of Buttercup Way, Darndale, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five sample charges of sexually abusing Ms Moran on dates between January and December 2006 when he was between 14 and 15 years old. He has no previous convictions.

Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting told Judge Martin Nolan that it was the State's case that Walsh molested Ms Moran every weekend she visited his home, which the victim estimates was most weekends. The abuse continued from the time she was four to 11 years old.

Karl Walsh (27), of Buttercup Way, Darndale, Dublin, pictured at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts
Karl Walsh (27), of Buttercup Way, Darndale, Dublin, pictured at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts

Judge Nolan said the “prolonged nature” of the abuse was an aggravating factor, stating that the sample charges were probably representative of 50 or 60 incidents in one year.

“Based on the State's evidence that is a conservative estimate,” he added.

He took into account two reports before the court which concluded that Walsh had low cognitive ability but said he was satisfied that as a 15-year-old boy he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Judge Nolan said that on the basis, Walsh deserved a custodial sentence, “he should have stopped”, before he added that Ms Moran “had suffered grievously”.

In her victim impact statement, Ms Moran said Walsh robbed her of her childhood. She said she now should be focusing on her “beautiful daughter” but “instead I've a monster ruining my life”.

She described the abuse as “acts of pure evil” which she said had torn the family apart.

She said she suffered years of sexual abuse but never told anyone until Walsh's sister had a baby girl and she feared for her safety.

Ms Moran spoke of how she suffered hair and weight loss and was vomiting frequently. She had difficulties sleeping and needed her mother with her to comfort her.

She said she continues to have nightmares and has twice attempted suicide. She is on anti-depressants but they have altered her life. She dropped out of courses she had started because she had to pass by Walsh's home. She feels she cannot continue to live in the area.

“I have done nothing wrong,” Ms Moran continued before she added that it had been “a never ending nightmare”.

She concluded her statement by thanking her parents and her brother for their continued support.

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