Tuesday 16 January 2018

Abuse of girl (4) 'went on for years after HSE was told'

Greg Harkin

A PAEDOPHILE reported to the HSE for sexually abusing a four-year-old girl slipped through the system "due to cutbacks" and went on to abuse again, a court heard.

The 23-year-old man subjected the child to abuse for several more years, and also abused the girl's brother as well as his own brother.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims, wept as he was jailed for five years on 25 sample counts of sexual assault.

But his own counsel told Letterkenny Circuit Court that the man had been the subject of an earlier complaint by the girl, who was eight when the abuse allegations re-surfaced.

Judge John O'Hagan heard how the authorities were informed about an incident involving the girl when she was aged just four or five.

"The HSE was informed and the defendant sent to Roscommon on a programme, but essentially due to cutbacks in funding, he fell through the cracks," said Desmond Murphy SC, defending. The accused, he said, would then go on to carry out further abuse of not just the girl, but the two boys as well, between July 2007 and February 2011.

These offences came to light when another family member read explicit sent text messages sent by the abuser.

Judge O'Hagan, summing up the case, said the paedophile had "stolen the innocence" of his victims and was a menace to his family and society.

Irish Independent

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