Dad caught preparing to abuse his daughter on webcam
THE father of a very young girl was arrested as he was about to sexually abuse her on an internet webcam, a court heard.
He had been in contact through an internet chat room with a person who he believed shared his interest in sexual activity with infants.
Unknown to him, the person he was conversing with was an undercover police officer in another jurisdiction.
When he told the officer his wife was out shopping, and that he would abuse his daughter live on webcam, the gardai were contacted.
He was arrested and the child was placed into care.
The details of the father's alleged activities, and his arrest, were given in the course of an application in the district court by the Health Service Executive (HSE) for a Care Order for the child.
However, the mother opposed the application.
The court heard the father had first met his wife, the child's mother, when she was 13 or 14 years old, and had embarked on a sexual relationship with her when she was 16.
He was 12 years older. She became pregnant and gave birth while still a teenager.
The Child and Family Agency (CFA) case centred on the belief that the mother had been groomed by the father as a child, and was under his influence.
Therefore she could not guarantee the child's safety.
The court heard evidence of the mother showing photographs of the father to the child and asking her to kiss them.
There were also allegations that the child had already been abused by the father, and that the mother was aware of this and may have participated in the abuse.
This was strongly denied by the mother, who during the trial said she accepted that the father was responsible for child pornography on his computer, and that he had possibly abused their child. She undertook to take out a permanent barring order against him.
The judge described it as "a very complex case involving serious matters, including allegations of the most serious nature".
"Some of the evidence heard was most disturbing and upsetting."
The father had left the jurisdiction following his arrest and played no part in the proceedings. The case has not yet been finalised.
The judge ordered a specialist assessment of the child's disclosures before making his final ruling.